Louise Burgess, Undergraduate Research Assistant (URA)
When first applying to become an URA, I was unsure about what to expect. Initially, I thought my summer would be spent holding a clipboard and collecting endless lists of data for someone else to analyse. In reality, the role has been much more exciting than I could have imagined, even prompting me to investigate future careers within research. The research I am assisting with aims to examine the most effective acute recovery routine for individuals who have undergone hip arthroplasty, a reconstructive procedure which involves the replacement of the femoral head and acetabulum with an artificial prosthesis. I felt immediately welcomed by James Gavin (Lead Researcher) and the Orthopaedic Research Institute (ORI) team: Tom Wainwright, (Deputy Head), Tikki Immins (Research Fellow) Shay Bahadori (Medical Device Engineer), in my URA role.
Since starting 2 weeks ago, I have been involved in:
- Designing and implementing a testing protocol
- Recruitment through designing posters and contacting volunteers
- Advancing skills technical: electromyography (EMG), isometric strength testing, clinical recovery exercises
- Developing my subject knowledge and understanding
- Training on the PrimusRS Multimodal Dynamometer
- Developing data collection spreadsheets
- Data collection: anthropometric, handgrip strength, walk speed, muscle activity and isometric strength.
- Data analysis (using Biometrics Datalog EMG software)
- Conference presentation:Research and Impact in Active Ageing Symposia (University of Cumbria)
Attending the Research and Impact in Active Ageing Symposia (University of Cumbria) proved to be a valuable experience for me as both a student, and as a researcher. The morning began with a talk from Prof Tim Donovan, who covered the role of vision and eye movement in motor control. This was followed by Prof Giuseppe de Vito (University College Dublin), focussing on how old muscle responds to training and nutritional interventions. Finally, Prof Andrea Macaluso (University of Rome Foro Italico) discussed his work on physical activity levels and physiological factors underlying mobility in ageing.
The morning was followed by a poster presentation session, where I presented the findings of my dissertation project. My dissertation entitled, ‘The Incidence of Injuries and the Epidemiology of Osteoarthritis in Retired, Amateur, Rugby Union Males’ was a project I thoroughly enjoyed and despite being incredibly nervous, I really liked sharing it with others. I presented my work to other students, academics, researchers, and members of the NHS. The feedback I received during the question and answer session after my presentation was positive, with ideas how the research could be expanded in the future. Having the opportunity to take part within the symposia increased my confidence within my own research, improved my presentation skills and developed my knowledge of research in active ageing. I even won the prize for best poster presentation, a £100 Human Kinetics book voucher!
I’m not even half way through my time as a URA, but I would still highly recommend other students to apply for similar positions at Bournemouth University.
For more information on ORI please visit:
- Twitter: @BU_Orthopaedic
Or to get involved with the current research please email me on: