Last year, I completed an Extended Project Qualification on the optimisation of the polymerase chain reaction and it’s applications in medical and forensic research. Apart from being a fascinating and complex topic, it also gave me the opportunity to carry out my own experiments – something which particularly interested an aspiring researcher like me.
I also received a Gold CREST Award from the British Science Association for my project, which recognises the independent research and creative approach required for my project – great for mentioning on my CV! I applied for my CREST Award after completing my project, however most people apply at the beginning, which enables them to receive additional support and mentoring for their project. This is a fantastic opportunity for all STEM students – and if you are doing a class, work experience, science club or individual project you should definitely have a look at their website to find out whether you would be eligible for an award! There are gold, silver, bronze and discovery levels available, and your project can be anything from carrying out scientific experiments to working on a science communication project.
For more information, visit their website.

Kate Prescott


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