The Young Scientists programme, which began in 2001, runs three times a year and provides school students aged 14-18 from local London boroughs with the opportunity to carry out a 1-2 week work experience placement at the School. In May, we were excited to welcome Young Scientists alumna, Klea Isufi back to the School. Klea is currently a Graduate Trainee, on the CASE Graduate Trainee Scheme and as part of her placement she worked for 4 weeks in the Development & Alumni Relations Office at LSHTM. While Klea was on her placement, we interviewed her to find out about her experience of participating in the Young Scientists programme.
“I participated in the Young Scientists Programme in 2010; I was a year 10 student studying for my GCSEs. At the time I was studying triple science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics as individual subjects) at Robert Clack School and was always interested in biology. The Young Scientists Programme gave me an invaluable insight into real-time biomedical research and the opportunity to be really proactive in conducting my own project while at LSHTM.
On the programme I was assigned a scientist mentor and had to work on a project on the topic of “The Global Burden of Disease”. I completed tasks that were of similar nature to what a researcher would do; developed a hypothesis, created and disseminated a questionnaire, collected and analysed the data, and presented the results and conclusions to faculty members and other young scientists. I also wrote a report based on my findings. Additionally, I undertook team-building exercises such as organising a lunch with the other young scientists for our mentors on the programme and took part in interactive workshops.
I gained a number of skills on the programme including; communication, team-building, analytical and numerical skills while also developing my confidence in science and growing my understanding of how to write in a way that communicates research clearly and concisely.
My favourite part of the programme was having the opportunity to follow my own project through from beginning to end, getting access to some really fascinating “real-life” research happening at the School and having the opportunity to work and network with talented scientists.
Public health is so important, and the ways in which we approach public health challenges was first highlighted to me by the programme. I really enjoyed the programme and went on to study a bachelors in Biomedical Sciences at university and completed a masters in Biomedical Research.
Working in my current role as a CASE Graduate trainee, my focus has been on face-to-face fundraising; public health is a very important topic to many of my donors. Given my background, I am able to discuss this with them and explain how current research is working to address public health issues.
My advice to current and prospective Young Scientists is to always ask questions, be inquisitive, fully immerse yourselves in the project, keep a log of what you learn throughout and have fun.”
If you were a Young Scientist and would like to share your experience of the programme, please get in touch at
If you would like to support other good work at the School, there are various ways to give. Please visit our giving page for more information.