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Personal experience - Romy

Romy - Honours Programme ScienceRomy Kuipers, a medical biology student, participated in the Science honours programme. Interested in research, she started looking for an extra challenge in addition to her studies and she registered for the programme.

“As soon as the programme started, it was immediately clear how diverse the group was: because you work with students from the entire faculty, everyone had a different view on research.” Romy began the programme by writing a research proposal in a small group in which they focused on Huntington’s disease. “Whereas with my background, I had a lot of knowledge about the disease, my fellow students could contribute technical aspects such as designing a model. Our diverse backgrounds enabled us to combine our strengths.”

At the beginning of the programme, Romy’s perspective was based on her own research. “It was enjoyable to work in a group, but I also wanted to focus on my own area of interest. During my internship, I studied the predictive role of small groups of small tumour cells (tumour buds) at the edge of a tumour. I examined tissues before and after chemotherapy to see in which tissues the tumour buds were present. During my research I also went to a congress in Lisbon and attended many lectures there about ongoing research. This was an inspiring experience because of the many ideas that you could also use in your own research.”

“The honours programme made it possible for me to develop in various areas. For example, the presentation training in the first honours year was very useful: I’m now much more confident when addressing a group. In addition to the knowledge about research that I gained, this was a very valuable skill that I can also use in my future career. And during my internship in the second year of the honours programme, I also discovered that, although I enjoy doing research, I’m especially attracted to the social aspect. This is the reason that I decided to apply to the Summa Master’s programme. I have been admitted and will be trained in four years’ time to become a doctor and a clinical researcher. My goal is to contribute to improving healthcare and the treatment of diseases.”