Interview with SCI Scholar, Ekaterina Melikhova

18 Sep 2015

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 65 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, thus raising their profile within the scientific community. In the past eight years alone, SCI has generously bequeathed nearly £115,000 of its charitable funds to SCI Scholars and the scientists of the future.

Ekaterina Melikhova received an SCI Scholarship in 2013. Here she tells us what being an SCI Scholar has enabled her to do.

What has the Scholarship from SCI enabled you to do that would not have been possible otherwise?

First of all, I was able to attend two big conferences (BOSS 2014 and OMCOS 2015) using the scholarship as a funding source. These were stimulating events, which encompassed a very broad range of lectures on organic chemistry, and enabled me to meet other chemists and discuss my project. The second major impact of the scholarship has been to provide funding for the 'writing-up period' of my PhD, as my main stipend only provides funding for three years. Finally, the scholarship has also provided excellent opportunities to meet other SCI members and be involved in SCI events.

What has been the most valuable part of receiving the Scholarship?

The most important aspect of receiving the SCI Scholarship has been the recognition of my work, and the time and effort I have put into my studies. I felt very privileged to be awarded this scholarship, and to be among smart and talented scholars.

Which achievement are you most proud of in your academic career so far?

The completion of the total synthesis of the natural product, which was the objective of the whole of my PhD, is the biggest achievement not only in my academic career, but also in my life. Moreover, I feel great satisfaction from reassigning the initially proposed, but incorrect structure of dehydromicrosclerodermin B.

What impact do you think receiving the Scholarship will have on your future career?

The scholarship gave me belief in myself and confidence that I can achieve something; these are very important aspects, which perhaps I lacked previously. I hope this confidence will carry forward and benefit my future career.

What next?

At the moment I am finishing the experimental part of my PhD, but I am not entirely sure what I would like to do afterwards. I am open to different opportunities, whether it is postdoctoral research, a job in the pharmaceutical industry or something else.

Is there anything else that you would like to highlight or note about your SCI Scholarship?

I am extremely grateful for receiving this scholarship and becoming a part of the SCI College of Scholars. I am grateful that the scholarship gave me the opportunity to go to conferences and supported my subsistence during my PhD writing-up period.

Ekaterina Melikhova
SCI Scholar 2013-2015

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