So since I am in the final year of my BSc, I have to embark upon a research style project this year. These are done in small groups of 3 students, each one of which is linked to an academic supervisor. Although each one begins with an initial title, you have a bit of wiggle room to change the direction you want to go in if you so choose within the group.
All the groups (with the exception of one group, which is looking into educational resources) are in the labs 3 days a week until the end of term. On top of that, you’ve got to plan all your own experiments as well. This involves a lot of organisation, and health and safety forms. And then after that, you have to write up a full report on what you found in your research project, and present it and all sorts of other things as well.
Yet despite all that, it’s actually really exciting to be able to do our own research, and to choose the direction we go in, like it really is our own project.
So my project involves differentiating between the two main types of coffee bean, which is a really interesting topic to me as an avid coffee drinker. Like, I never really thought about the chemicals involved in coffee before. It turns out there’s over a thousand chemical compounds involved in the smell of coffee alone, and many more within the bean itself. They’ve not even all been identified yet (so admittedly we are hoping to discover a new compound in coffee, unlikely as it is). Fingers crossed.