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Summer Undergraduate Research Programme (SURP)

Unique Summer Experience

How to Make the Most of Your Summer Break?



Denver Correia from the University of Glasgow shared his tips on making use of the summer break to pursue his research interests and how his engagement in SURP has led to his first co-authored journal publication.

What drove you to take part in summer research?

The idea of using the skills I gained in the classroom in a research-based context fascinated me. I wanted to apply my knowledge into an area where I’ve previously not explored and the summer research opportunity at CUHK provided to be the best option. Trained by a leading public health professor and guided by his lab group, I could clearly apply the competencies I gained through my degree in immunology to the field of public health and antibiotics. It was an interesting opportunity to work with such a diverse cohort of researchers as well!


Looking back, how was your experience with CUHK SURP? Could you share with us one of your most memorable experiences?

Absolutely incredible! Despite being entirely virtual in 2021, the support I received from my supervisor was unparallel. We had weekly meetings discussing our project, offering me the flexibility to pursue my own interests in my spare time. I could also learn a bit of Cantonese as well and enjoyed the virtual cultural immersion sessions which took us all around Hong Kong. I enjoyed discussing our results at the research symposium we had at the end of the summer and could also gain valuable insights from other students. It was most memorable when the supervisor of my lab group reached out to me inquiring if I was interested in publishing our results–it offered the opportunity to get involved beyond the scope of the programme.


How did the opportunity of having a co-authored research paper arise and how did you maintain the collaboration with your CUHK supervisor beyond the programme?

Towards the end of the programme, we were invited to continue working on our project and I was very keen to do so. The results and hard work we put into the initial phase of the project fostered discussions of publishing our results. Beyond the programme, we had regular Zoom meetings to discuss key project milestones. Since publishing research takes longer than expected, we remained in contact over the course of a year to finally culminate in our publication in the summer of 2022! My supervisors were very considerate for the time differences and were very helpful whenever I faced any difficulties in the project.


Could you give any tips to those who are interested in summer research to make the most out of the experience?

Be interested! Working in a new institute can seem challenging but CUHK SURP staff provide some very interesting opportunities to be involved beyond the scope of the project. Try making the best of the research experience and use it to best of your ability to gain further competencies. You can never lose a skill, so try to look into newer research areas that might potentially interest you.