HSE University-St Petersburg Students and GEROPHARM Carry Out Joint Research on Type 1 Diabetes
Students of the Bachelor's programme 'Political Science and World Politics' have carried out joint research with the pharmaceutical company GEROPHARM. Together with experts, the future political scientists studied the restrictions faced by families of children with type 1 diabetes.
This is not the first time that students of the Bachelor's programme 'Political Science and World Politics' have participated in social projects. For instance, in 2022, the future political scientists developed an online platform as part of the 'Map of Responsibility' project, where they displayed information about the areas of responsibility of various St Petersburg committees and local authorities on an interactive map. This time, students of the programme participated in a socio-medical project and conducted research with the company GEROPHARM.
For many years, GEROPHARM has been developing medications for people with diabetes. The company also actively carries out social work, providing patients with informational and psychological support and conducting various research. One such venture was a project in which experts from GEROPHARM studied the restrictions faced by children with type 1 diabetes.
External Communications Manager at GEROPHARM
One of the areas of our activities was and still is working with children who often have to deal with restrictions because of their disease, including in terms of attending institutions of additional education—clubs, workshops and so on. To draw attention to this problem and develop a systematic solution, it is important to show its extent. That is why we approached students and professors of HSE University to help us carry out qualitative research. For us, it is very important to get independent expertise, and it is an amazing opportunity for students of HSE University-St Petersburg to put their knowledge into real practice.
During the work on the project, the first students scrutinised the experience of similar research in Russia and abroad. This helped them to develop the theoretical framework of the study and a questionnaire. The future political scientists also took part in collecting data and analysing the results, which they used to prepare a report about the first stage of the project.
Deputy Academic Supervisor of the Bachelor's programme 'Political Science and World Politics', Project Curator
We surveyed St Petersburg families whose children face various restrictions due to diabetes. This gave us an idea of the extent of the problem in the city. The students could participate in real research: develop a design, formulate a research question, and choose the methods of collecting and analysing data. They gained all these skills while studying in our programme.
Thanks to our colleagues at GEROPHARM, the students visited a modern pharmaceutical manufacturer and got to know the company's activities in the framework of corporate social responsibility strategy.
In the first stage of the project, HSE students and GEROPHARM surveyed families in St Petersburg. However, the study did not end there—they are now collecting data in other Russian regions.
4th-year student of the Bachelor's programme 'Political Science and World Politics', Project Participant
I have always been interested in the social sphere and wanted to contribute to its development. The topic of the project seemed very significant to me, so I decided straight away that I wanted to be a part of a team working to improve the life quality of children with type 1 diabetes.
For me, this research was a wonderful opportunity to implement my skills—critical thinking and time management skills came in extremely handy in the work. I also managed to use the knowledge I gained during my studies and see how it can be put into practice. But most of all, I liked our collective work—there was a lot of brainstorming and discussion, so in the end, we became an amazing and productive team.
During the work on the project, we got a lot of support from the staff of GEROPHARM. They were always available and shared the materials necessary for the work. My expectations of cooperating with a large company were fully met, and in general, participation in the research was a very useful and interesting experience for me!
External Communications Manager at GEROPHARM
The impressions of working with HSE University-St Petersburg are truly amazing! Students turned out to have a high level of training and brilliant skills. In general, we are interested in working with universities. For us, it is a unique chance to carry out amazing research projects with an in-depth practical element.
Our company believes that pure theory is not enough to become a good specialist who will soon enter the labour market. That is why we tell students about the necessary competencies, explain the demands of business, and show how the company works from the inside. I am sure that it will help the students to choose a trajectory for their future professional development.