SCI Scholar, Amy Newell, presents her end of year report

19 June 2024

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

Since 1985 over 80 scholarships have been awarded which have not only given the recipients financial assistance, but have enabled them to broaden their network, and 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, raising their profile within the scientific community.

Amy was awarded an SCI Scholarship in 2023. At the end of their first year, SCI Scholars present an end of year report to SCI. Read on to find out more about what she has done in her first year as an SCI Scholar.

Amy Newell, SCI Scholar 2023'My PhD investigates how changes in light quality affect protein production in plants. Thanks to my SCI scholarship, in November 2023, I was able to attend a Ribosome Heterogeneity and Specialisation conference in London. As this field is one that my PhD has unexpectedly begun exploring, it was invaluable to be able to meet with and ask questions to some of the best researchers in this area. As part of this conference, I got to meet Karen Merchante, a researcher based in Spain, who I’d set up a collaboration with earlier in my PhD. At the conference, we were able to discuss and plan a research stay in her lab for Spring 2024. Karen’s lab studies translation in a range of plants.

'In late November I began growing plants to send to Spain in preparation for this stay. Then, in March, I travelled out to Spain for 3 months to learn polysome profiling and apply the technique to my samples. For this research stay, my SCI Scholarship was crucial. It gave me the financial security to make big decisions about experimental design months in advance of my trip.  Therefore, I could focus on growing and sending the thousands of plant samples necessary for my experiments. This sped up the preparation process and saved me a lot of time. My initial results from this trip are looking really interesting and I am hoping that they will contribute towards a publication.

'In July, I plan to utilise the last portion of my first-year SCI scholarship to travel to the Netherlands for the Young Researchers Symposium on Plant Photobiology. I’m looking forward to networking with other plant photobiologists for the first time and discussing my results from my Spain trip.

'Otherwise, since my SCI scholarship, I’ve officially become chair of the SCI Agri-Food committee. As a committee, we have some exciting plans for the next year. I hope to utilise my scholarship next year to attend some in-person events at the SCI run by other committees, especially some of those linked to Agri-Food. Thank you, SCI, for all of your support.'

Amy Newell, The University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh

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