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Students experiences of PIPS are largely positive, the placement presents an opportunity to explore and develop new skills in a business environment.

Below, you will find a selection of summaries, written by students who have previously undertaken a PIPS placement.

Catherine Griffin (2013-17)

AAAS Science International/Science Magazine

Some aims of this internship were to improve my understanding of scientific publishing, to improve the way I present my research to people outside of my area of research and to gain insight into problems identified by editors in the publication process.

By looking at article submissions each morning with the managing editor, I learned how to clearly present my research to interest editorial staff who may not work in my field of research. This also helped me to understand which common avoidable flaws appear in submissions, how best to communicate with editors about articles under revision and how reviewers are likely to see my research. This is likely to be immediately useful with a view towards publishing my own research, but also useful in the long term to understand the publishing process.

Summarising research articles for brief pieces in the magazine has helped me develop my skills in quickly assessing which information is most relevant to concisely convey the results of research. In the past I have often found it difficult to determine how much detail is required to explain my research to people unfamiliar with the topic, but reading a broad range of research articles and writing concise summaries has given me a better understanding of how to approach this.

Overall this internship has helped me to develop skills in critical assessment of research, identification of relevant information, analysis of external data and providing information for educational purposes. It has also given me valuable insight into scientific publishing that will be helpful for my future career, whether I remain in academia or pursue publishing.


Maxime Couturier (2015-19)

Department of Chemistry

Singer Instruments

I wanted to improve my capacity to work in a team, and I must say, this was a wonderful occasion. Indeed, while testing the colony picker, I encountered a number of issues that I could not have solved by myself. I really saw how complex problems and projects could only be handled by a group of people interacting with each other and sharing their ideas to progress as efficiently as possible. I really believe that experience improved my team working and my capacity both to help other and seek their help as soon as I need it.

Conducting meetings where the whole team can throw suggestion and remark to highlight the strong and weak point of a proposal was also very formative.

It also gave me the opportunity to communicate more on the work I was conducting, improving my communication skills

I was also involved in all the steps of product development, from the early market research to the product launching and final testing. Knowing how all these steps are conducted will prove hopeful in other domain as the process is not dependent on the product. I am very glad I could be part of it and improve my skills in product development management.


Toby Call (2013-17)

Department of Biochemistry

International Space University

I was able to get an unparalleled overview of the space industry and the state of the art of life support systems including bioregenerative systems. During the course of the PIP I experienced what it was like to be in a high intensity working groups of different sizes that need to self organize and meet tight deadlines. 

I learnt the necessity of clear diplomatic communication when working with many nationalities with varying levels of language ability and sometimes very different cultural and ethical values.

Overall I understand my PIP was unconventional compared to others, however it achieved the same goals in providing an even broader industry insight than working for one company, and in all I can say it was a life changing experience that will influence my career and life greatly.