This summer I realized there is more to research than the traditional wet lab and animal scientific research that I am used to in my own work. With introductions to other student research that included work in the humanities and creative realms, I became more familiar with research in other capacities. For instance, many of the other fellows completed their research in completely different methods including reading, analyzing, and interview-based data collection. I learned how these techniques could also be used in my own scientific research.
In comparison to more STEM based fellow research, my project was similar. It based on the fact of experiments, data collection, and analyzing said data. My project is a little bit different in the sense I do not work with cells, and in the wet lab I utilize brain tissue. In addition, since my research is animal based most of my lab work is spent running behavior for my rat subjects to self-administer cocaine. In this animal-based research, surgical techniques are an additional skill that I have trained and developed this summer that is often not seen in other projects. I found a lot of interest this summer in projects that were not like my own and based in the humanities. Interest in topics like law, classics, and urban development were particularly invigorating as they demonstrated the wide array of research that can be applied in the world. As a neuroscience major, with a certificate in conceptual foundations of medicine as well as global studies I do have an interest in interdisciplinary subjects such as the medical humanities. This interest was reaffirmed through the introduction of my peer’s projects.
I think benefits with working with people across disciplines is to see greater purpose within our work. Often in our own research we have a bubble that allows us to stay hyper focused on our research question. Working with other fellows across disciplines is difficult when projects require understanding of jargon as well as knowledge on the subject. In this way, communicating projects can be proven difficult, but over the summer we each developed our own way of explaining our interests. I am grateful for these opportunities to have exposure to other areas of studying, that helped develop and broaden my own research.