"The placement enhanced my skills in experimental design, data interpretation and communication...”

- Vanessa Ankude, MSc student at the University of Nottingham
Vanessa Ankude Work Placement Msc Student Editorial Office
Vanessa Ankude

We were delighted to welcome Vanessa Ankude, an MSc student from the University of Nottingham, for a recent work placement.

In this short interview, we asked her to share what she thought of her experience with Editorial Office and how she will take her learnings forward.

Hello Vanessa! Welcome to our news section. Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you are currently studying?

I am currently taking an MSc at the University of Nottingham, studying Molecular Genetics and Diagnostics.

Before this degree, I graduated from Queen Mary University of London with a BSc in Biomedical Science.

Outside of academics, I love playing the violin and piano, and trying to beat my friends at chess.

How did you end up doing a placement with Editorial Office? 

The Researcher Academy is a network at the University of Nottingham that aims to help students improve their research skills and create collaborations between researchers and external organisations.

One such initiative is their work placement program where postgraduate students can participate in short-term research projects with other companies.

The Scientific Publishing Peer Review placement with Editorial Office interested me as I enjoy learning about the scientific publishing process, and I wanted to advance my independent research skills.

What did you enjoy most about your work placement with Editorial Office?

One of my favourite parts of my placement was listing authors for peer review invitations. It was fascinating to see all the different areas of scientific research. It also illustrated how challenging the process could be.

I also enjoyed making the poster summarising my experiment as I got the chance to be really creative and cater the content to different audiences.

Tell us about the specific project you were involved in… 

The first phase of my placement required me to list authors that would be suitable to peer review specific manuscripts. After gaining experience in the invitation process, I designed, conducted and analysed the results of an experiment. The investigation tested whether the time or day of invitation influenced reviewer responses.

…what were the challenges? 

The most demanding part of the placement was the data analysis of my experiment, as statistical tests are not my strongest suit. Nevertheless, the team at Editorial Office helped me to conduct the correct analyses and were very supportive throughout the project.

What was your big takeaway from the work placement?

The project I was involved in made me really appreciate all of the authors, freelancers and editors working in peer review. It’s such an essential yet challenging aspect of good scientific practice, and everyone involved in the process should be ‘given their flowers’.

Has this placement solidified your career interests? 

The placement enhanced my skills in experimental design, data interpretation and communication. It solidified my interest in pursuing further independent research opportunities. In fact, this September, I will be embarking on an exciting PhD project in clinical diagnostics at the University of Birmingham.

Scientific Publishing Peer Review Placements and Opportunities.

We are really grateful to Vanessa for her input during her time at Editorial Office and for taking the time to answer our questions for this interview post.

If you are PhD student and would like to learn more about part time opportunities, do get in touch.

Scientific Publishing Peer Review Work Placement

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