PolyU Junior Researcher Mentoring Programme 2022 is open for applications, introducing secondary school students to university research projects, enabling them to discover the joy of research and explore broader knowledge
14 Feb 2022
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) debuted “The Junior Researcher Mentoring Programme” (the Programme) last year, providing secondary school students with the chance to participate in various research projects under the guidance of PolyU academics, thereby opening the door for their future research endeavours. The Programme has returned this year and is now open for applications. By participating in this Programme, secondary 4 and 5 students will be able to explore a wide field of knowledge while discovering the joy of research. Students will also gain a deeper understanding of the diverse subjects offered by PolyU, which will help prepare them for their future academic and career pursuits.
PolyU has always been committed to responding to societal needs through education and research. It is also our mission to nurture the new generation of research talents. The ‘Junior Researcher Mentoring Programme’ has been established with a view to providing opportunities for secondary school students to learn and practise, as well as to experience the joy of research. They can furthermore gain a deeper understanding of the special features of PolyU’s different undergraduate programmes, so as to facilitate their future career planning.
Prof. Ben Young
Vice-President (Student and Global Affairs)
The Programme this year has received tremendous support from more than 70 PolyU scholars in different research fields. Nearly 40 research projects have been designed for participating secondary school students, providing a total of about 130 quotas for enrolment. The research topics available this year are even more diversified, spanning areas like rehabilitation, economics, hotel and tourism, biomedicine, nursing, language, design, and various specialisations of engineering. A number of COVID-19 pandemic-related research topics are also available. Interested secondary school students can submit applications through their schools by 25 February. Students who successfully enrol on the Programme will form small groups and take part in their respective research projects under the guidance of PolyU academics. By getting their hands on the projects, students will gain a better understanding of their research topics and learn the knowledge and skills that are essential for research.
PolyU’s Vice-President (Student and Global Affairs) Prof. Ben Young said, “PolyU has always been committed to responding to societal needs through education and research. It is also our mission to nurture the new generation of research talents. The ‘Junior Researcher Mentoring Programme’ has been established with a view to providing opportunities for secondary school students to learn and practise, as well as to experience the joy of research. They can furthermore gain a deeper understanding of the special features of PolyU’s different undergraduate programmes, so as to facilitate their future career planning.”
Students from Good Hope School who participated in the Programme last year found the experience very beneficial. The principal of the School, Dr Harfitt, thanked PolyU for providing practical experience in research for their students. He remarked, “The Programme allows our students to learn outside the classroom, giving them exposure to the real world of science. Under the guidance of PolyU academics, our students participated in various research projects including ‘The Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Pain and the Associated Risk Factors among Adolescents in Secondary Schools’. It was indeed an invaluable opportunity for them on their road to learning biological science."
Upon completion of the research projects, students are required to share and present their findings to other groups. Selected groups may have the chance to participate in international conferences and share their findings. Nicole Chung, a mentee of the 2021 cohort and a student from Diocesan Girls' School, gave an oral presentation on behalf of her team at the 17th International Forum for Back and Neck Pain Research in Primary Care in mid-November last year, and brought home the "Best Very Early Career Researcher Australasian Oral Presentation" – also a recognition of the effort that her team had made.
Another team who worked on the topic of "Language & Dementia in Ageing" was selected for a poster presentation at the 35th Annual Conference on Human Sentence Processing. Representing the team was Yannis Mok, a mentee of the 2021 cohort and a student of Po Leung Kuk Tang Yuk Tien College. She felt very encouraged by the fact that the team’s effort was being recognised. She said, "I am very grateful to Professor William Shi-yuan Wang and Ms Hui Nga Yan from the Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies at PolyU for thier guidance and support, which allowed me to have the opportunity to participate in the international academic forum. It was truly a rewarding experience.”
PolyU attaches much importance to the holistic education of young people and encourages them to acquire different learning experiences through interdisciplinary studies. The Junior Researcher Mentoring Programme aims to nurture young people's interest in research, helping them to acquire interdisciplinary knowledge and to gain a good understanding of the latest developments of various industries. The Programme is now open for applications and is expected to run from April to August this year.
To learn more about the Junior Researcher Mentoring Programme, please visit: https://www.polyu.edu.hk/geo/jrmp
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