Sarah Gilbert is a Politics undergraduate from the University of Warwick who has been working at the AMRC as a Policy and Public Affairs Intern for the past 10 weeks. Here, she provides us with some of her experiences and views about her time at the AMRC.
My time at the AMRC began the week of the EU referendum – and what a time to join. As a politics student it has been fascinating to see how the sector is working together to ensure the best environment for health and medical research charities, in order to bring benefit to patients. One of the advantages of starting my internship at this time, in spite of all the uncertainty, has been observing these initial Brexit discussions within the sector, that will go on to have a lasting impact on my future career.
One of my main roles as an intern at the AMRC was to help deliver the APPG on Medical Research’s summer drop in, ‘How can patient data revolutionise healthcare?’. The event was attended by 21 MPs or their researchers, 16 peers and 3 committee clerks, and provided an opportunity for parliamentarians to meet patients and experts using patient data for research into a variety of disease areas including mental health, cancer, cardiovascular and rare diseases. This was showcased through case studies from the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Cancer Research UK and many more.
Two highlights for me included meeting former Minister for Life Sciences, now Chair of the Prime Minister’s Policy Board, George Freeman and walking past the room where the 1922 Committee were meeting to discuss the new Conservative leadership nominations. We were certainly “walking past a piece of history” as the MP researcher accompanying us told us.
The overall experience of my internship has been incredibly enjoyable, the membership of the AMRC spans such a range of disease areas and sizes, interested in a vast array of policy issues. The team work hard to have a strong, collective voice on behalf of their members and it has been a pleasure to work for them.