Hello friends, family and glorious members of the public. My name is Jack Beaumont, I'm a Cardiff University Psychology graduate and aspiring Neuroscientist.
This year I successfully applied for a Brain Imaging Masters course at the University of Nottingham. I was delighted to hear that I had been offered a place on the course which offers expert training in Brain Imaging and Neuroscience. The MSc will help prepare me for a PhD and ultimately a research career aimed at better understanding and preventing diseases such as Alzheimer's and Schizophrenia.
The master's is a one year full time course focussing on further understanding brain-behaviour relationships, the structure and function of the brain and ultimately how to better treat and prevent dementia and mental illness. Pretty cool, eh?
However, financing a year of study is somewhat pricey, and funding opportunities are thin on the ground. Fortunately from work and savings during my undergraduate degree and this summer, I have raised enough funds to cover my maintenance costs. Even though, I have applied for funding from many sources I am yet to receive any additional help, which means I am currently struggling to pay my tuition fees.
Due to existing debt from my undergraduate degree, and the lack of student loans for postgraduate students I am turning to crowdfunding in the hope that the wonderful public will aid me in my hour of need.
Your donations will allow me complete the course and will contribute the understanding, prevention and treatment of some of the most crippling brain diseases!
Where will the money go?
All money raised will go towards the payment of my tuition fees. There is no minimum, because in the words of Tesco 'every little helps'.
The breakdown of costs are as follows:
-Tuition fees: £6310
- Paypal fees at 3.5%: £220
- Total: £6530
What is Brain imaging anyway?
Well, as you may have guessed Brain Imaging involves taking pictures of the brain, this involves utilising a variety of non-invasive techniques that are used for both research and medical diagnosis.
Techniques such as Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI click on me!), take structural images of the brain as well as monitor activity.
The 'Brainbow' technique involves staining individual brain cells with fluorescent colours, making it easier to map the brain.
Finally, the electrical signals of the brain can also be monitored in a method known as electroencephalography (EEG). This can be used for research, but also for powering technology such as flying drones!
The 'brainbow' technique. Picture of a mouse hippocampus (a key region for memory) each coloured dot is a brain cell.
An example of fMRI. Highlighted areas show brain activity.
A human brain with the white matter highlighted (where cells communicate with each other).
A bit more about me
As am sure you can tell, I am passionate about the brain, Neuroscience and the course I am embarking on. As well as the brain, I also have a keen interest in mental health having completed a placement in a Canadian hospital in mental health services focused on mental health issues associated with those suffering cancer.
I also want to promote public engagement with Neuroscience and Psychology, an I have been involved in science outreach projects, such as the Cardiff University Brain Games event aimed at increasing public knowledge of the subjects.
I am have an interest in sports as well as health and general wellbeing including swimming, cycling (occasionally open water) and recently Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ).
And remember the University of Nottingham has a 100% postgraduate employment rate, meaning that within 6 months all graduates are in further education or employment, so your money will go to good use!
There are some great rewards up for grabs, but these pictures should give you an idea of what the mugs and t-shirts look like.
Find me here:
For regular updates from the world of science follow me on Twitter: @BrainimagingMSc
Help treat brain Disease!!
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