My summer project entailed analysing stochastic effects in the context of the earliest stars, so-called Population III stars, and was awarded the Cormack Scholarship, offered by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. This topic had not been explored rigorously before and as such provided me with the immense opportunity of producing novel scientific results, as well as getting close to the research life, which is something I deeply wish to pursue in future.
The summer after finishing my 3rd year I wanted an insight into research in a professional environment, and decided the summer programmes at the school would be a good first step. I read the profile for Dr Kenneth Duncan’s proposed project ‘Analysing the Rest-Frame Optical Spectra of Radio Detected Active Galactic Nuclei’, and it sounded really interesting, so I applied and was one of three students working with him for 6 weeks in the summer.
For a long time, it had been a dream of mine to work in research in astrophysics. As cliché as it sounds, it’s the truth. I had tried many different things throughout high school and uni, but the one thing I never had the chance to take a crack at was participating in a proper research project. Of course, this makes sense— there aren’t exactly many places or opportunities to work with data from an observatory, let alone for a third-year undergraduate. But I was lucky enough to be afforded an opportunity to do just that in the summer of 2021. And shockingly enough, all I had to do was reach out to my TA.
I ended up with a summer student project at the Royal Observatory of Edinburgh through the Institute for Astronomy.