Former Larne Grammar student to research tropical medicine in Ghana

Sian Clifford, IAESTE, assistant project manager, British Council Northern Ireland, with Larne student Beth Montgomery (right), who has secured a placement with Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) in Ghana.
Sian Clifford, IAESTE, assistant project manager, British Council Northern Ireland, with Larne student Beth Montgomery (right), who has secured a placement with Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) in Ghana.

A Larne student is carrying out vital medical research in Ghana having secured an international work placement through the British Council.

Beth Montgomery, who has just completed her second year studying for a BSc in Biomedical Science at Ulster University, has been selected to take part in the IAESTE (International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience) programme.

Students Beth Montgomery (left) and Emer O'Kane are on work placements in Ghana through the British Council's IAESTE programme.

Students Beth Montgomery (left) and Emer O'Kane are on work placements in Ghana through the British Council's IAESTE programme.

Beth will spend the summer working at the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR), which specialises in biomedical research into tropical medicine.

The 21-year-old will be joined by 34 other students from across Northern Ireland in the IAESTE programme, with placements taking place in countries including Japan, Brazil and Macedonia working in fields such as medicine, engineering and computer science.

The former Larne Grammar School pupil hopes to gain skills that will significantly contribute to her future employment prospects when she returns to Northern Ireland.

She said: “My role involves carrying out various laboratory tests alongside other scientists on infectious diseases, as well as field work and this involves travelling out to communities where people are suspected of having certain conditions and taking a sample which can then undergo diagnostic analysis.

“I feel through this placement that I will learn so many new skills that I can take home and apply to future jobs. This centre works with so many conditions that are not common in the UK so it will allow me to see things I may not get to see again. It has also allowed given me the chance to meet some amazing people from all over the world that I would otherwise never have met.”

Managed by the British Council, IAESTE works on a reciprocal basis, therefore for every placement offered to local students, international students are welcomed to Northern Ireland. This year, 30 people will spend their summer with firms here.