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Are you thinking about applying for an SCI Travel Bursary?

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15 Oct 2014

Many of our members have already taken advantage of the generous support which SCI offers to early career members who are planning to travel to a conference or site visit related to their studies, so why don’t you? 

The closing date for the October round of applications is 31 October (for travel between 1 January and 30 June 2015). You can apply using the link below. Remember, if you're not already an SCI member, make sure you join before the closing-date, as only applications from SCI members* will be considered. You will also need your referee to submit a reference before the deadline to awards@soci.org.

Read on to discover where our previous winners have gone and what they got up to.

Earlier this year, our 2014 travel bursary winners (from the March application round) travelled across the globe as far as China, Japan, America and South Africa, in order to present at international conferences. Many of our winners could not have done so without SCI's support. As well as gaining experience in presenting their work, building their knowledge and networking with fellow delegates and eminent scientists, they were also able to immerse themselves in the local culture and some travelled to a country they had never been to before.


In early July, David Liptrot travelled to Rhode Island, USA, to attend the Gordon Research Conference and Seminar on Organometallic Chemistry. The conference attracts scientists from a variety of countries, and research areas in academia and industry. The principle focus of the conference was an in-depth reaction analysis as applied to organometallic reactivity, with a particular focus on catalysis. David presented a poster focussing on some novel organometallic reactivity that has been part of a focus on his PhD entitled, 'Group 2 Mediated Cascade Reactions for Heterocycle Assembly.' As his research was in a very novel field, David was able to enjoy spreading the good news of group 2 catalysis amongst a new audience of researchers. The collaborative environment of the conference gave David the ideal opportunity to create a series of links, which he believes will be invaluable to his future career. By attending the conference, he was also given the opportunity to see ground-breaking science in his field which will form the basis and inspiration for future research. More.

Following on the theme of organometallic chemistry, Marc Reid travelled to Japan in mid July to attend and present a poster at the XXVI International Conference on Organometallic Chemistry (ICOMC 2014). The ICOMC brings together academics, industrialists and students working on the fundamental and applied aspects of organometallic chemistry in the widest possible sense. With more than 150 speakers and 500 poster presentations, Marc was able to take full advantage of the opportunity to liaise with chemists of similar scientific interests to his own. More.

Staying close to home, Hamung Patel attended the Nutrition Society Summer Meeting 2014 at the University of Glasgow between 14-17 July. From attending the meeting, Hamung was able to speak to key scientists all in one room and obtain feedback on the results of his PhD in diabetes and nutritional sciences. He was also able to present his work to PhD students in other fields and gain a better understanding of the relationship between food structure, digestion and nutrient release. Hamung was pleased to be able to gain valuable contacts and talk to principle investigators about future grant applications for potential post-doc opportunities, whilst also being able to talk to industrial members such as Nestle and Unilever, about job opportunities outside of academia. More.

In late July, Jonathan Verrett travelled to Beijing to attend the 8th International Conference on Gas Hydrates (ICGH 8), a conference which attracts over 600 participants from academia, industry and government from over twenty countries. Jonathan's travel bursary provided him with the opportunity to present his research at an oral session. His oral presentation was well-received and he was able to embark on further discussions with researchers from six countries, which provided insights into past studies and ideas for future work that he can bring to his research group. As well as gaining new academic contacts, the conference allowed Jonathan to make industry contacts from companies such as Shell, Exxon, Aramco and Sinopec. The discussion and ideas exchanged at ICGH 8 were, Jonathan felt, invaluable and have provided him with new opportunities to push his research and career forward. More.


San Francisco proved a popular destination for our travel bursary winners, with three winners travelling there in August to attend the same conference.

Jessica Breen, Jonathan Macdonald and Daniel Phillips attended the 248th ACS National Meeting & Exposition on Chemistry & Global Stewardship between 10-14 August. Over 15,000 delegates attended a programme comprising in excess of 1,000 scientific sessions on a variety of subject areas ranging from agricultural chemistry through to polymeric materials science and engineering. The meeting provided a unique opportunity to hear work on a diverse range of topics from individuals at all career stages. Jonathan's presentation was on 'Synthesis and kinome selectivity patterns of imidazo[4,5-b]pyridine-derived fragment libraries.' Jessica gave an oral presentation, entitled, 'Continuous Flow Synthesis of Chiral Amines' and discussed resolution and racemisation processes in flow. Daniel gave a presentation describing some recent developments in the area of 'isothermally responsive polymers for therapeutic delivery and diagnostics'. All three talks sparked interesting debate with fellow researchers and their input will help them in shaping future research ideas. Indeed, Jessica has already been contacted about potential collaborations, which she is particularly excited about. All three made time to explore the sights which San Francisco has to offer such as Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Jonathan even took the opportunity to travel through the rest of California, as he was fortunate to have a week taking in the sights of Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and the Sequoia national parks before taking the Route 1 tourist trail back to San Francisco.

Angela Gonzalez de Castro attended the International Symposia on Advancing the Chemical Sciences (ISACS) at the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry between 7-10 August. Angela took part in the conference's extensive poster session, presenting a poster entitled 'Iron-catalysed aerobic oxidation and cleavage of organic substrates'. As part of Angela's work is due to be published soon, she found the feedback from established researchers which were unfamiliar with her work extremely valuable. The conference has been a great opportunity for her to make new contacts and friends which will no-doubt benefit her future career. In addition to attending the conference, Angela made time to explore Shanghai including traditional Chinese cultural sites such as the Yuyuan Gardens and the City of God's temple. Angela recommends trying Shanghai's dumplings with a cold Tsingtao beer or, if you are more adventurous, the soft shell turtle soup! More.

In mid August, Lucie Pfaltzgraff travelled to Durban, South Africa to attend the 5th IUPAC International Conference on Green Chemistry. The conference attracted representatives from across the world and Lucie was selected to present a talk on 'Use of microwave hydrothermal technology for the sequential recovery of chemicals from orange peel residues' as part of the Ultrasounds and Microwaves session. Her talk summarised the biorefinery process developed using microwave technology under acid-less and additive-free conditions for the extraction of -limonene, flavonoids, sugars and pectin from waste organge peel. Lucie reports that by attending the event, she was able to gain a better understanding of the hurdles which Green Chemistry faces in the different parts of the world. She has also made several interesting contacts in areas not traditionally associated with Green Chemistry. More.

We are looking forward to hear reports from our travel bursary recipients who travelled later in the year. To read these reports in full, please visit the awards news section.

Remember, if you would like to get in touch with any of our travel bursary recipients then you can do so via the Members' Directory (you will need to sign in to view).

*please note applications from e-members will not be considered

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