Messel Travel Bursary Recipient, Daniel Payne, Reports from NIMS, Japan

23 Mar 2016

Daniel Payne was awarded a Messel travel bursary in 2015, to support his research visit to the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan between September and December 2015. Here, he tells us about the work he carried out at the institute and his current research project.

‘The Messel Bursary allowed me to visit the National Institution for Materials Science (NIMS) in Japan, in order to collaborate with Dr Jonathan Hill, a world-leader in his field, for a period of three months between September and December 2015.

‘To work in a collaborative manner with Dr Hill allowed for the expansion of my current research, as well as allowing me to expand my current knowledge. The work at NIMS was based around the synthesis of photo-sensitive resorcinarenes - chemical modifications of the core structure were carried out in order to change the physical properties of the macrocycle. The results we have obtained seem promising and a manuscript is being written from work carried out during my research visit.

‘NIMS was a fantastic institute to carry out research, with a large number of international researchers and a very collaborative atmosphere. It not only offered fantastic research facilities but also a number of extra activities and classes including Japanese language, Kokedama, origami and food preparation amongst others.

‘The chance to live in Japan for three months was also a fantastic experience with numerous visits to Tokyo, including the Disneyland resort; as well as being able to see Mount Fuji and numerous other places. To be able to see the culture of Japan was a brilliant experience and to integrate into a community was also extremely interesting.

‘As I near the end of my PhD I have started to consider postdoctoral research opportunities. Having always been interested in working in Japan for this period of my career has led me to seek out opportunities to conduct research in world-leading institutions, such as NIMS. Furthermore, I believe the experience was highly beneficial, both for me in terms of the knowledge gained and for the host institution due to the skills, ideas and input introduced into their research group.

‘I am extremely grateful to SCI for providing funding for me to take part in this collaborative research visit and would highly recommend that people apply for these types of funding and take part in visits such as mine.’

Daniel Payne
PhD Student, University of Birmingham

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