SCI Scholar, Marina Economidou, presents her end of year report

21 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.

Marina 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.

Marina Economidou, SCI Scholar 2023'I am very grateful to have received an SCI Scholarship to support the final two years of my PhD research. My work focuses on palladium removal following pharmaceutically relevant metal-catalysed reactions, as its cost and preciousness are both factors prohibiting its one-time use. Understanding how palladium can be recovered in an efficient manner will not only deliver reliable processes able to meet the demands of the market when it comes to the production of goods, but it will also result in economic and environmental benefits which is what the chemical industry strives for.

'Being at the interface of academia and industry as part of my collaborative PhD, places me in a position where I can have an impact beyond my immediate field of research. Being awarded an SCI Scholarship has given me invaluable opportunities to reach scientists who have a direct interest in my findings. Attending my first international conference organised by the American Chemical Society in New Orleans has enabled me to draw from the experiences and suggestions of seasoned process chemists and adapt my project to address issues that were proposed during discussions. Simultaneously, the Scholarship funding has allowed me to attend national conferences within my field to gain further insight into the current state-of-the-art. I have also had the opportunity to attend the 34th SCI Fine Chemicals Group Postgraduate Symposium in Cardiff, where I presented my work amongst a number of inspiring young scientists, who demonstrated the high quality of research taking place within UK academic institutions.

'All these development opportunities have really enabled me to evolve my project to better suit industry needs, and as a result, my first year as an SCI Scholar has been incredibly productive. My Review on the application of metal removal methods in the pharmaceutical industry (Org. Process Res. Dev. 2023, 27, 9, 1585–1615) was one of the most read papers in the journal in 2023 and has led to a number of fruitful discussions with industrial scientists. I am also currently in the process of preparing a manuscript on my work, which focuses on understanding and improving the reliability of metal removal processes on scale.

'During my final year as an SCI Scholar, I aspire to continue my development as a researcher by further pursuing opportunities to learn and grow, as well as present my work. I would like to thank the SCI once again for giving me the opportunity to become a member of their College of Scholars. Being inducted into the College of Scholars has broadened my network, as I have met brilliant fellow scientists and formed connections that will last a lifetime. I look forward to presenting my work at the SCI Showcase next year, and I am excited for all the opportunities that lie ahead following the completion of my PhD.'

Marina Economidou, GSK/University of Strathclyde

University of Strathclyde and GSK logos

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