Students win 25 Carnegie Vacation Scholarships

View of John Anderson Campus from the north

Twenty-five undergraduate students are spending their summer on a research project after securing Vacation Scholarships from the Carnegie Trust.

They join a further 21 students being supported with summer research projects through the Research Internships at Strathclyde programme (RI@S), and another 10 funded by EPSRC scholarships.

Valuable experience

The Carnegie scholarships provide funding for students of £250 per week as they gain valuable experience in research skills that might lead them into a PhD or career in academia.

Dr Patricia Krus, Manager at the Carnegie Trust, said: “Carnegie Vacation Scholarships aim to support the next generation of researchers by enabling undergraduates to develop their research skills.

“The Trust awards about 100 Vacation Scholarships each year to promising students across Scotland in the penultimate year of their degree. With these scholarships, we aim to help students gain greater confidence in their own abilities and encourage them to consider a career in research.

We are delighted to see students at Strathclyde show such a strong interest in this scheme and we look forward to learning more about their individual projects during the summer months.”

Ian MacLellan, of the University’s Student Support and Wellbeing team, said: “All of these programmes are aimed at giving undergraduate students a chance to try out in depth research and can lead them to postgraduate study or a long term research career.

“These opportunities can be very competitive and it is great to see Strathclyde securing 25 of the 116 Carnegie scholarships awarded this year. We’re really delighted by the support the Carnegie Trust gives to our students and the University.”

Applications for Carnegie Trust Vacation Scholarships 2019 opens in December while applications for RI@S internships open early 2019.

Case study: Dr Marc Reid

Dr Marc Reid received a Carnegie Vacation Scholarship in 2008 working with Professor Robert Mulvey in the Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

He took up a Nuffield Undergraduate Studentship with Professor Billy Kerr in 2009, before completing a one-year industrial placement with Procter & Gamble. Upon Marc’s return to complete his MSc, he graduated 1st in his class, earning the GSK Prize in Organic Chemistry in the process.

Support from the Carnegie Trust would come again in 2011 when Marc won the prestigious PhD Scholarship (1 of 14 awarded across all disciplines and universities in Scotland).

He completed his PhD in Chemistry with Professor Billy Kerr and Dr Tell Tuttle in 2015, having won all PhD report prizes at every stage of the degree. His research was recognised internationally with the Wiley Young Scientist Award for contributions to isotope chemistry, and a string of talk and poster prizes.

From 2015-16, Marc was a postdoctoral research associate with Professor Guy Lloyd-Jones FRS at the University of Edinburgh where, once again, Marc’s work was competitively sponsored by Carnegie, this time through the Larger Grant scheme. During that time, Marc was accepted onto the SciFinder Future Leaders in Chemistry program, joining 24 world-class scientists from around the globe to take part in a prestigious leadership program.

Most recently, Marc won the prestigious Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship and returned to Strathclyde to set up his first independent research lab. This position is co-sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, making Marc the first Strathclyde-GSK Early Career Academic, enabling him to contribute to the successful Strathclyde-GSK doctoral training program.

Since setting up his lab at Strathclyde in 2017, Marc has won several grants, including a Carnegie Trust Research Incentive Grant. He has also been recognised through the IUPAC Young Observers’ Program, and is currently taking part in the Scottish Crucible, Converge Challenge, and Merck Innovation Cup.

Reflecting on his experience, he said: “Following sustained support from Carnegie during my student days, I am genuinely delighted to be able to contribute to this scheme as a supervisor. Back home at Strathclyde, no less!

“It’s a thrill to be mentoring the next generation of scientific talent and facilitating their enthusiasm for the chance to work at the forefront of scientific research.”