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Yi Ting Loo Case Study

Yi Ting Loo

'The URSS Student Director role was a highlight of my undergraduate experience’

Mathematics PhD student Yi Ting Loo began her journey into research as an undergraduate at Warwick. Below, she shares how these opportunities helped shape her decision to pursue further study.

Where it began

Yi Ting already knew she was interested in research as a potential career path, so reached out to the lecturer of a module she was particularly interested in with questions about Warwick’s Undergraduate Research Support Scheme (URSS).

She felt supported throughout the application process, and thoroughly enjoyed her first summer working on topics she found interesting. Warwick’s 2021 International Conference of Undergraduate Research (ICUR) was one of the first times she presented her work.

“The best aspect of ICUR is that it is catered to undergraduate students, and so it was a great environment to practise presenting to an audience in a safe environment,” Yi Ting explains. “It wasn’t too intimidating and provided a good experience of attending a large-scale conference.”

Student Director ICUR/PhD decision

Being able to share ideas with attendees from all over the world, Yi Ting grasped with both hands the opportunity to become a Student Director at the following year’s event.

“It was very satisfying to see the sessions come alive during the conference,” she continues.

“The bulk of my work as a student director was promoting ICUR to other undergraduate students, so it was rewarding when my work was able to help undergraduates on their own research journey. The student director role was a highlight of my undergraduate experience.”

Developing solid research skills – including analytical thinking skills, gaining confidence discussing ideas with experts and reviewing existing literature – proved hugely beneficial when applying to postgraduate opportunities. Having developed these skills early, Yi Ting feels more able to focus on the technical side of her PhD.

'Supporting the supporters'

Yi Ting’s involvement with URSS and the supportive environment offered by the university's Warwick Mathematics Institute were pivotal in her decision to pursue a PhD at Warwick, where she has been offered a scholarship.

Alongside her research around mathematical modelling of biological systems, Yi Ting has also been part of the team behind ‘Support the Supporters’. Designed to share resources for budding undergraduate researchers and their mentors, the initiative was developed in conjunction with undergraduates to ensure focus remained useful and relevant for early-stage researchers.

Yi Ting recommends the Support the Supporters website as a starting place for any undergraduates at the start of their research journey – but it is also vital to reach out to lecturers and PhD students in your field.

“It may seem intimidating as an undergraduate, but often they are delighted to help or to supervise you. They are passionate about their research and will have plenty of ideas for you to get started,” she says.