21 Aug 2014
At the end of their first year, SCI's Scholars present an end of year report to SCI. Read on to find out more about what James has done in his first year as a Scholar.
The second year of my PhD has been just as exciting as the first, with the publication of two papers in peer reviewed journals as well as the start of my first venture into academic textbook writing, with contributions from many top academics from across the world. I have also been fortunate enough to present posters at several large conferences including two SCI conferences; Hot Topics in Organic Chemistry and the SCI Members' Forum, the latter of which allowed me to meet other SCI scholars as well as many other SCI members. This year I also gave my first conference presentation, at the International Conference on Phosphorus Chemistry in Dublin, Ireland. This gave me the opportunity to present my current PhD research to an international audience, taking the stage with world leading academics across the world.
The SCI scholarship has provided invaluable financial assistance in allowing me to attend many conferences I have described, without which I would not have had the opportunity to present my research to an international audience. Through the SCI scholarship I have met many other SCI scholars from a diverse range of chemical backgrounds, allowing us to share experiences and knowledge as well as making friends from a variety of other academic institutions. SCI has also provided various networking opportunities (e.g. the SCI Scholars lunch) for SCI scholars to meet other SCI members from the full range of chemical industries within the UK. This has allowed me to gain a better knowledge of the various opportunities available to me upon completion of my PhD and also to know people within these industries from whom I can gain advice and encouragement. The SCI also helped to pair me with an industrial mentor, Lisa Mitchell, a principal scientist at Syngenta. Lisa has been both an excellent mentor and a friend. She gave me a tour of the Syngenta process chemistry department and helped me gain Syngenta funding to attend the SCI Process Chemistry conference earlier this year.
Looking forward to the next 12 months of my PhD I am sure that I will continue to thoroughly enjoy my studies through the highs and lows that research brings. The SCI scholarship has helped to fund an upcoming visit to Shanghai for the ISACS 14: Challenges in Organic Chemistry conference, at which I am presenting a poster. We hope to publish some more of our research in the near future and I will be looking to the completion of my PhD and my next challenge as this year draws to a close. I would like to thank the SCI for their continued support and encouragement throughout my PhD.