21 Aug 2014
Each year, SCI awards scholarships to help members support their studies. Mike received a one year scholarship in 2013. Here he tells us what it has enabled him to do.
What has the Scholarship from SCI enabled you to do that would not have been possible otherwise?
Thanks to my SCI Scholarship I will be travelling to Japan to continue my studies on antibiotic resistance. This is of great relevance to industry particularly since this research area has been awarded the longitude prize in 2014. I'm looking forward to working with the group and seeing the compounds that they have available which will really test my models! I'm also very excited about the cultural experience of visiting Japan and finding out more about work and life in this country.
The Scholarship has also given me freedom to pursue other scientific interests beyond my PhD project - having the financial cushion from this award takes a bit of the pressure off!
What has been the most valuable part of receiving the scholarship?
The networking opportunities, and the wealth of academic and industrial experience that I have not previously been exposed to have been invaluable. This offers quite a different slant to the academic world which I have worked in so far and has helped me to consider what I might like to do next.
Receiving C&I magazine monthly has also helped me to keep tabs on the news in chemical industry, and the opportunity to present and broaden the impact of my work through presentations at members events (like July's AGM) have contributed to widening my experiences beyond the lab.
I'm also very grateful to have the financial support without which I would not be able to pursue my study in Japan later this year.
Which achievement are you most proud of in your academic career so far?
I was delighted to be awarded a presentation prize at a conference in Germany in 2013, especially since this was the first time I had presented at an academic conference and a poster presentation award at this year’s Young Modellers Forum in London.
And of course, I'm very proud and honoured to have been chosen to receive an SCI scholarship!
This year, I have had my first paper published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry B (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jp500652x) as well as another currently undergoing review, and I'm pleased to have been successful in obtaining funding from numerous funding bodies (including the SCI) to enable me attend Gordon Research conference in Vermont US.
Most recently, obtaining buy in and having my grant proposal successfully accepted to travel to Japan to work as a resident theoretician in a group looking at antibiotic resistance is also a huge accolade and great step in my career!
What impact do you think receiving the scholarship will have on your future career?
Being fortunate enough to be awarded a prestigious award such as the SCI scholarship will no doubt help my CV with any endeavour I choose to pursue next.
However, almost more importantly the various events I have attended as part as being a member of SCI has opened enabled me to meet and interact with high level members of the chemical industry, an experience that will certainly inform the direction of my future career as well as allowing me to seek advice as to which course that might take!
These opportunities are available to all SCI members – you just have to participate, join in at events and make use of SCI networking tools such as the Members' Directory to build your own profile.
Throughout my studies I feel I have been in a constant tug of war between the academic route and industry, however, through SCI events I have seen that there isn't a clear distinction between the two. I am currently really interested in the role that research plays in antibiotic resistance, so work in that field would be interesting. On the other side of the coin, the technical challenge in building computational models and using them to investigate systems is something I also enjoy, and this has wide range of applications to a diverse range of fields. Watch this space!