University Employs Record Number of Vacation Research Assistants

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The University of Worcester has employed a record number of Vacation Research Assistants this year, giving fifteen students the opportunity to be involved in live research projects.

The scheme, now in its third year, provides students with the opportunity to work alongside experienced researchers on engaging, cutting-edge projects over the summer period.

Projects on which students are employed this year include: a study seeking to understand cancer progression at a cellular level which may contribute to the fight against the disease; an examination of the impact of water abstraction on the ecology of rivers and streams in conjunction with the Environment Agency which will ultimately inform government policy; and an investigation of women’s experiences of evacuation in Worcestershire during World War Two, drawing on evidence from archives in The Hive.

Ross Mizen, who has just completed the second year of a degree in Sports and Exercise Science at the University, has been appointed as research assistant on a project looking at how different types of footwear affect sporting performance.

Ross explains: “We’re trying to find out if certain types of shoe influence how you run and whether, for example, that could impact on the volume of particular injuries.”

“If there is a link it could lead to runners and other sports people potentially adapting their footwear.”

Ross adds: “Going forward, I would love to follow this career path – conducting research and then analysing the findings to help in the world of sport and sports testing.

“This scheme is providing me with real life experience of the research process. It’s teaching me that things don’t always go according to plan and how best to react when in that situation.”

The Vacation Research Assistantship Scheme is one of the many ways in which the University is helping students to earn while they learn. 19 out of 20 Worcester graduates currently find employment within 6 months of graduating.

 If you want to know more about the scheme please contact Charlotte Wasilewski on telephone 01905 542181 or email