Six University of Leeds students will have the opportunity to get involved in multidisciplinary research projects this summer, investigating new technologies linked to colorectal therapies.
The studentships have been organised through the HTC Foundation (HTCF), the student-led affiliation of the Colorectal Therapies HTC, set up to provide students from different scientific disciplines with an opportunity to work together. Funding for the studentships has been provided jointly by the HTC and IMPRESS Network.
Each research project will have three students, one from each discipline (engineering, medicine and chemistry), allocated to it. One project is developing a novel surgical mesh for use in colorectal surgery and the other is creating a ‘smart’ incontinence pad. The studentships will run for eight weeks over the summer, enabling the students to gain valuable experience of conducting research.
“We set up the HTCF to get students from different disciplines working together to address real clinical needs, and these studentships offer the ideal opportunity to do that,” said junior doctor, Stephen Chapman, who sits on the HTCF steering committee. “The projects all involve very new, clever technologies that require a multidisciplinary approach, which is exactly what we want to encourage.”
The HTCF was launched in November last year with an innovation programme, bringing students from different disciplines together to develop new ideas to prevent anastomotic leaks. A series of workshops followed, which saw students learning some of the skills involved in multidisciplinary collaboration and product development.
“We had hoped to take one of the ideas further forward, but decided that working on established research projects would be more beneficial for the students,” said Stephen. “We’re already looking at running the innovation programme again next year, improving on this year’s pilot programme and involving a wider range of students.”