Educating the next generation of researchers is important for sustainable science. Several master’s, bachelor’s, and guest students work daily in the bioengineering research group. Where do they come from, and how did they find their way to our lab?

Throughout this year, the bioengineering laboratory is welcoming 16 undergraduate and master’s students from six different countries, mostly from Estonia but also from as far as India, Pakistan, and Egypt, creating a diverse learning environment for the students. Involving students in research activities provides them with essential knowledge about scientific methods and hands-on experience that supplements their studies. Being actively involved, solving actual scientific problems, and seeing results inspires young people to advance further in their studies and explore yet-to-be-known topics.

Moreover, including the younger generation in active research benefits the research group as a whole. Our scientist, Srdjan Gavrilovic, who is supervising five students this year, commented: “Involving students in research is helpful in advancing more labour-intensive parts of research and exploring hypotheses.”

We also asked our visiting students, Sandra and Javeria, about their experience and how they found their way into the bioengineering lab. “We came to TalTech for one semester as part of the Erasmus Mundus scholarship. Petri-Jaan Lahtvee was our lecturer and he had an industrial project coming up with Fibenol, so he offered us this opportunity. We are just pursuing our master’s degrees, and conducting research together with an industrial producer was a wonderful way for us to explore both scopes – how research is conducted in a laboratory and how work is done in the industry. Having this experience allows us to explore both opportunities and decide whether we want to continue with PhD studies or start working in the industry. Our semester is now over, but we will stay until the end of summer and then continue our journeys.”

What an exciting era of life it is to travel and obtain experience within scientific groups internationally!