Garrick is the Technical Officer - Research & Development under Dr. Darragh Duffy and Prof. James Di-Santo for the Healthy Human Global Project - Hong Kong.
1. Can you describe the change in your role (currently partly as a researcher, partly as an "trainer" in the program) compared to when you were having your MPhil study?
When I was a MPhil student, my main goal was to complete my research thesis writing by generating as much experimental data as possible. In order to achieve this, I tried my absolute best to learn advanced experimental techniques, scientific concepts as well as data interpretations from my supervisors and colleagues.
As I started working at C2i as a Technical Officer, my role changed from a learner position into a research trainer for the Healthy Human Global Project – Hong Kong, being now responsible for teaching my scientific and technical knowledge to the research staff and equip them with the ability of working independently and efficiently.
2. Do you enjoy your current role?
I really enjoy this new role, especially preparing training materials and having practical demonstrations.
However, preparing training materials, can be challenging. Delivering my scientific and technical knowledge to the research staff with no hands-on experience in our protocols requires extensive attention. Luckily, we have a talented team, and I can successfully teach to the Research Assistants everything they need. I really enjoy the idea of passing my knowledge to others.
For practical demonstration, I personally believe that successful research should be a combination of “Fruitful scientific knowledge + Practical experimental techniques". Therefore, it is also important to demonstrate each step, in extensive details, for experimental techniques. I really enjoy those moments with my colleagues, teaching them problem-solving from the experience I have accumulated, and answering their concerns/questions/hesitations, nurturing good research practices.
3. What is the most memorable moment while you trained Program 1 staff?
During the training phase, I will ask the research staff to make their own working protocol after I showed them mine and demonstrated the experimental steps in detail.
A very good example of successful training is that one time when I showed them the 2-page protocol I prepared for an experiment and, after the demonstration, they showed me their modified protocols, double the size of mine, including all the extra knowledge and tips I shared with them during practical demonstration.
To me, this was proud moment of knowledge transfer on concepts and techniques. Not only the research staff can learn from me, but I can also understand the key parts that a new learner cares the most in a protocol or during practical demonstration which can indeed further enhance my training techniques/skills.
>>> Learn more about HHGP - HK on www.hhgp.hku.hk