JHU: Mind and Vision Summer Research Experience

20 July 2020

Jingxiu took part in a short term placement at the John Hopkins University, Mind and Vision summer research experience. Read on to hear about Jingxiu's experience of a short term placement.


From 1 June 2019 to 31 July 2019, I participated in the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Mind and Vision Summer Research Experience. During this experience, I worked with the Vision Sciences Group at JHU, where I was involved in conducting a research project on visual working memory. I was involved in all aspects of research, including the design of the experiment, recruiting and testing participants, coding and analysing data, and interpreting and presenting results. During the course of the internship, I also participated in guided readings of cognitive science and vision literature, and attended laboratory meetings in which we discussed ongoing projects or current issues in the fields of cognitive science and vision research.

As I am interested in pursuing a career in academia, this internship was especially useful to me since it gave me the opportunity to conduct a full research project from beginning to end and learn important skills relating to research. Since we had to give various presentations and participate in various laboratory meetings and reading groups throughout the course of the internship, I also learned important ‘soft’ skills that are important for an academic career. Furthermore, being an intern at JHU allowed me to make valuable connections with researchers in the United States and gave me a better understanding of what the differences in research culture and approaches to graduate school are in the United States and the United Kingdom. In addition, this was a great opportunity for me to travel, allowing me to experience a different culture and meet new people from different walks of life.

However, I encountered some administrative problems during this internship. Firstly, my arrival to Baltimore was delayed because I was unable to obtain my visa in time to travel, as I encountered issues with getting some of the required documents from JHU. As such, I would recommend for you to get into contact with the administrative department of your host university as early as possible to prevent encountering the same problems as me. Secondly, it was also an extremely tedious process to get enrolled in the university as an international student. Additionally, the fees for the various applications and insurance added up to a significant amount, so I advise that you take into account these additional costs when planning for your short-term study abroad opportunity.

Despite these minor challenges, my experience as a summer research intern with the Vision Sciences Group at JHU was extremely beneficial for both my career aspirations as well as my personal goals. Hence, I highly recommend everyone to consider taking a short-term study abroad opportunity if you can!


By: Jingxiu Cheng