Here is some of the enthusiastic feedback received from our Bursary Winners.
I am currently a foundation dentist working in a small independent practice in Salford, Manchester. I have always had a keen interest in dental public health – specifically water fluoridation which is why I chose this as my elective subject topic. Before beginning my elective I was fully aware of the publics concerns about having fluoride added to their water at the optimum amount of 1ppm, in an attempt to try and reduce dental caries – however my elective made their concerns more apparent once looked at their posts on social media.
I hope to continue with my interest in water fluoridation, with the help of the BFS. The Sands Cox John Rippin Dental Elective Report Prize has helped hugely with my continued interest in water fluoridation. I’d like to thank the Sands Cox Charity, and the Rippin Family for their support – and I hope this is just the start of progressing towards a better understanding of the benefits water fluoridation will have on reducing dental caries, if implemented elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
I spent my elective in an ENT department in Australia, undertaking a project which is attempting to produce a national guideline for day-case tonsillectomy in the public hospitals of Australia. Currently no guideline exists for this purpose in Australia, perhaps due to lack of evidence, and thus the majority of public hospitals keep tonsillectomy patients for one night at a minimum. I've analysed the hospital's tonsillectomy data from June 1998-present, which has includes over 2800 patients - looking at the complication rates and features of their stay in order to help identify 'high risk' patients and thus those who would not be appropriate for day-surgery.
I was awarded £500 by the charity to carry out my project, which did alot to help me fund my trip and make the most of my time down under. The scholarship covered the accomodation for my 4 week elective in Geelong with ease and also helped me do some travelling in Australia for the subsequent weeks - seeing the Gold Coast, Byron Bay and Sydney. So as you may guess I'm very appreciative of the charity and its support!
'I am a final year dental student, and thanks to the Rippin family and the Sands Cox Charity, I was able to carry out my elective In Shanzu, Kenya where I assessed and implemented a tailored preventative oral health programme for a group of physically disabled women. For the women at Shanzu, focusing on their oral hygiene was not a priority and their physical disabilities and lack of education made practising basic oral care challenging. I was inspired by their motivation to not use their disability as an excuse and their sincerity in improving their oral hygiene practises.
This project was an emotional yet rewarding experience and would not have been possible without the financial support of Mr John Rippin’s family and The Sands Cox Charity and would like to convey a personal thank you to the Rippin family for enabling me to change the lives of these women as well as an unforgettable experience.'
Now Clinical Lecturer in Restorative dentistry
School of Dentistry Birmingham
I had always had an interest in forensic science and I decided to use my student elective to delve into this area further.
I decided to contact the forensic odontologists based at Melbourne University. Given the high profile nature of the unit, in reality I had not expected them to respond to a lowly dental undergrduate but hoped that they may give me some pointers as to what would be a feasible short term research project suitable for an undergraduate elective
To my delight Prof Clements invited me to Melbourne and to assist me in putting together a project!
This was an opportunity way beyond what I had hoped and expected and though very excited and grateful I faced one very practical problem! How was I going to get all the way to Australia and fund the project?
Luckily for me this is where the Sands Cox Charity stepped in. I submitted my research protocol and thankfully the Society saw some potential and provided me with an incredibly generous bursary; without which I would not have been able to realise the opportunity with which I was presented.
I have so much to be thankful to the Sands Cox Charity for - I can honestly say without their support I would not have made it to Australia and would have missed out on what has been, without a doubt one of the best experiences in my life to date.
The opportunity to work with an esteemed and well established unit, undertaking research in a field UK dental undergraduates have little to no exposure was truly inspirational.
I also had the chance to spend time travelling in Australia following completion of the project and upon my return I was afforded the opportunity to give an oral presentation to the society and to write a scientific paper detailing my results and experiences.
Seven years on and I still find myself telling people about the opportunities I had whilst in Melbourne..Whether it was using state of the art technology to compare 2D and 3D images objectively,scanning an ancient Egyptian Sarcophagus' to identify the cause of death, using bite mark identification techniques to identify perpetrators of sexual crimes or working with anthropologists based in the Torres Strait!
Each of element of the project allowed me to develop an array of skills that would be useful to me in my future academic career and are memories I will hold with me for the rest of my life.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest gratitude to the Sands Cox Society for affording me the opportunity, as without their support none of it would have been possible.