Ten minutes with SCI Scholar Nick Race

21 Aug 2014

Each year, SCI awards scholarships to help members support their studies. Nick 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?
It has presented me with the opportunity to enhance my CV through making presentations. I have gained valuable experience in presenting to strangers, and non specialist audiences. I have therefore had to tailor my presentation to the audience. This has also helped me to explain what I do to friends and family!

This has all helped me to build my confidence.

The funding has also enabled me to get a better quality laptop!

What has been the most valuable part of receiving the scholarship?
The recognition associated with being an SCI Scholar from other organisations. It shows that I am well rounded and not too focused on one thing. Receiving an award from a well recognised organisation like SCI really helps me to stand out from the crowd.

The networking opportunities and the time to engage with other SCI members and scholars has meant that I have been able to learn from others' experiences, and share my experiences and give advice to others in my group and network too.

Which achievement are you most proud of in your academic career so far?
I had a great A-level Chemistry teacher who inspired my interest in Chemistry. I undertook an undergraduate degree at Oxford before starting my current study programme, and I was delighted to gain a first class degree.

I'm also proud of having had three papers published so far – one for my undergraduate projects in 2010 and two from my PhD.  This has really helped my ability to work independently and learn how to effectively research.  

What impact do you think receiving the scholarship will have on your future career?
I think it will offer me a way to get my foot in the door for jobs.

I am starting a Postdoc at the University of Utah working with Professor Matthew Sigman in May. The scholarship has certainly contributed to my achieving this opportunity.

What next?
I want to explore another area of chemistry and develop another skill set. I will be starting a postdoctoral position with Professor Matthew Sigman in May 2015 and will hopefully broaden my chemistry horizons for the future.

I'm looking forward to staying in touch with SCI and to continue to be involved in SCI activities.

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