SCI’s Early Careers Committee (ECC) held the first Postgraduate Scholars’ Showcase event at SCI HQ, London, on 3 July. The meeting was held on the same day as the SCI AGM with the aim of strengthening connections between past and current scholars, showcasing the scientific achievements of travel bursary recipients and interacting with the wider SCI community.
Our team (pictured right) Zulfa Yoosuf (Daphne Jackson Fellow), Xin Yi Ong (Travel bursary winner) and Ivalina Minova (current SCI Scholar) have been working hard to put this event together for the first time with the support of SCI’s Early Careers committee. Here Ivalina reports on the event:
‘For us it was a learning experience to organise such an event and a great networking opportunity. The idea behind the event was to strengthen SCI connections with the past scholars and showcase the scientific achievements of travel bursary recipients over a poster session. We invited two past scholar’s Dr Angelica Orsi and Dr Paul Brack to share their experiences within academia and industry.
‘Zulfa opened the showcase with a warm welcome speech and handed over to Xin who introduced our first speaker, Dr Paul Brack. Paul completed his PhD in Materials Chemistry at Loughborough University, developing novel composite materials for hydrogen generation, during which he was awarded a SCI Scholarship.
Paul shared his experience as a postgraduate fellow at the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology in Westminister. In 2017 Paul joined Dehns Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys as a Technical Assistant in the Chemistry team.
‘I introduced our second speaker, Dr Angelica Orsi, who holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of St Andrews. In 2015 Angelica was awarded an SCI scholarship and after completing her PhD in 2018 she joined Oxis Energy, as a research scientist developing an innovative Lithium Sulfur [Li-S] battery chemistry. Angelica gave an overview of her career path and how she made the transition from academia to industry. She also shared helpful tips for job hunting and how to prepare for interviews.
‘There was much to learn from our past scholars, but the day also provided the speakers with an opportunity to get involved with SCI such as joining the SCI’s Early Careers committee and contributing to the C&I magazine.
‘The poster session was a good networking opportunity for the PhD candidates and a chance to win an Amazon voucher. We awarded 2nd prize to Naval Singh from Loughborough University, for his poster on "Solute-Driven Colloidal Particle Manipulation in Continuous Flows Past Grooved Microchannels" and 1st prize to Anna Zhenova from the University of York for her work on "Dihydrolevoglucosenone: Applications of a Novel Bio-Based Solvent".
‘During the lunch and afternoon coffee breaks the PhD candidates had the chance to meet and speak to the employees from a wide range of chemical companies like GSK, BASF, Pfizer and Sythomer as well as academics.
‘The day was a resounding success! We greatly benefited from interactions with the past scholars. We discussed ideas to promote the society to both undergraduate and postgraduate communities. We strengthened the interactions between our past and current scholars which will ensure SCI continues to stay relevant and connected. Together we’re working toward an exciting future.’