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Graduate SCI Scholar Interview James Adams

James Adams

11 August 2017

For over thirty years, SCI has supported and recognised the excellence of early career people, by aiding their studies in the form of an SCI Scholarship.

Since 1985, over 70 scholarships have been awarded which have not only given the recipients financial assistance, but have enabled them to broaden their network as well as strengthen their skills and knowledge. SCI Scholars receive access to publishing and mentoring opportunities and are given a platform to present their work amongst esteemed scientists and industrialists, thus raising their profile within the scientific community. In the past eight years alone, SCI has generously bequeathed over £115,000 of its charitable funds to SCI Scholars and the scientists of the future.

James Adams received an SCI Scholarship in 2015. Below he tells us what being an SCI Scholar has enabled him to do.

What has the Scholarship from SCI enabled you to do that would not have been possible otherwise?
There are many ways in which this Scholarship has contributed to my career development that would not otherwise have been possible. Specifically, the exposure to business, government and science sectors, along with the networking opportunities this has led to, through attending SCI events and meeting people I wouldn’t have foreseen meeting in any other way.

Presenting at the SCI AGM was not only an enjoyable and productive experience, but as SCI scholars we also received several invaluable training sessions before the presentation. The skills developed in these sessions are already being implemented in my current work. Further to developing my presentational skills and networking, I have had the opportunity to learn and develop new skills. These skills were developed through my involvement in SCI’s – What’s Your Bright SCIdea? Competition. This was a great experience all round. From its initial conception in a workshop challenge at an SCI College of Scholars Day, to its development with SCI and Synthomer, prior to launching the event earlier this year.

What has been the most valuable part of receiving the Scholarship?
The fantastic networking opportunities available. This is something I have not encountered with any other learned society. Being a member of the College of Scholars is something I am incredibly proud of and has given me the chance to meet a broad range of professionals in a friendly yet productive environment that stimulates both collaboration and hopefully future career prospects.

I have also welcomed the opportunities for skill set diversification through my involvement in SCI projects like What’s Your Bright SCIdea? Presenting at the SCI AGM has also given me invaluable experience.

Which achievement are you most proud of in your academic career so far?
I would have to say the award of this SCI Scholarship, as it is one of the few scholarships available to PhD students that is so highly regarded in both academic and industrial settings.

What impact do you think receiving the Scholarship will have on your future career?
The award itself contributes significant weight to my CV and thus future career opportunities. However, the main influence I would say has been through networking opportunities, this has helped to broaden my horizons, specifically with respects to the career options available to me.

What next?
As I have said, having this scholarship has opened up so many opportunities to me to develop not only as a scientist but also as a professional. Through this scholarship, I have had the opportunity to interact with scientists in academia and industry, as well as business leaders and politicians. This has provided me with numerous options with regards to a future career although this is something I haven’t come to a definite conclusion on yet. However, at this moment in time I am currently leaning towards pursuing a role in government. One thing is for certain though, the connections I have built and the skills developed through this scholarship will facilitate and ease any diversification at any time in my career.

Is there anything else that you would like to highlight or note about your SCI Scholarship?
I can’t thank SCI enough for the opportunities I have been afforded and I would encourage any student, undergraduate or postgraduate, to get involved with SCI. SCI has already played a pivotal role in my career to date and I look forward to giving back to the Society throughout the future of my career.

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