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Graduate SCI Scholar Interview Tanatorn Khotavivattana

Tanatorn-Khotavivattana

12 Sep 2016

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 68 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.

Tanatorn Khotavivattana received an SCI Scholarship in 2014. 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?
The scholarship from SCI has provided me with an opportunity to meet other SCI members who are experts in various backgrounds. The events organised by SCI serve as platforms that allowed the exchange of ideas, experience and knowledge from both academic and business viewpoints, which is remarkably unique. In addition, the financial support from this scholarship allowed me to participate in the 21st International Symposium on Fluorine Chemistry (ISFC) and the 6th International Symposium on Fluorous Technologies (ISoFT) being held in Como, Italy.

What has been the most valuable part of receiving the Scholarship?
I had an opportunity to present my achievements during the course of the scholarship at the SCI Annual General Meeting 2016. It was the first time that I have given a presentation to a non-specialist audience and I was really pleased that the presentation was so well received. During the meeting, there was a lot of constructive feedback and suggestions from several perspectives. In addition, the connections I have created among the Scholars and other SCI Members have been most valuable to my future career.

Which achievement are you most proud of in your academic career so far?
My colleagues and I have successfully developed a chemical reaction that allows 18F-labelling of a new class of compounds, allowing the synthesis of novel radiotracers for application in PET imaging technologies. Some of the work has been published in high impact journals and the corresponding patent is currently underway.

What impact do you think receiving the Scholarship will have on your future career?
The prestigious SCI Scholarship is a significant addition to my curriculum vitae, hence facilitating the applications for research funding in future. Furthermore, my future career as an academic in organic chemistry could certainly benefit from the network with many business and industrial sectors that I have developed during the course of my SCI Scholarship. By joining the College of Scholars, I am hoping to maintain contact with SCI to prolong these connections.

What next?
I have recently received a lectureship position in the Department of Chemistry at the Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. As a result, after I have finished my degree, I am going back to my country to start an academic career as an expert in fluorine chemistry. Currently, I am looking to establish a collaboration between the institutions in Thailand and the University of Oxford to strengthen the research capabilities for both institutes.

Tanatorn Khotavivattana
SCI Scholar, 2014-16

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