SCI Scholar, Amy Flinn, presents her end of year report

06 September 2018

For over thirty years, SCI has supported and recognised the excellence of early career people, by aiding their studies in the form of an SCI Scholarship.

Since 1985 over 70 scholarships have been awarded which have not only given the recipients financial assistance, but have enabled them to broaden their network, and strengthen their skills and knowledge. SCI Scholars receive access to publishing and mentoring opportunities and are given a platform to present their work amongst esteemed scientists and industrialists, thus raising their profile within the scientific community. In the past nine years alone, SCI has generously bequeathed over £115,000 of its charitable funds to SCI Scholars and the scientists of the future.

Amy Flinn was awarded an SCI Scholarship in 2017. At the end of their first year, SCI Scholars present an end of year report to SCI. Read on to find out more about what Amy has done in her first year as an SCI Scholar.

‘My research is based on the application of continuous photochemistry for fine chemical manufacture, focusing on greener methods for industry as part of my funding from GlaxoSmithKline. Since receiving the SCI Messel scholarship in 2017, I have been able to expand my professional network and interact with many industrial chemists, whose guidance and interest in my research project has been invaluable. Their own insights into industrial R&D were also beneficial, as scale-up from an academic laboratory to a working industrial level is often fraught with issues which we aim to address in my research group.

‘Last November, I was invited to the College of Scholars’ day by the Early Careers Committee. I had the opportunity to meet other young researchers from around the UK and meet the other 2017-2019 scholars more informally. We took part in useful workshops and were particularly pleased to win the future scientific idea competition, inspired by Thomas Britten’s Bright SCIdea. In addition to this, I attended a showcase of brilliant organic chemistry organised by the Fine Chemicals group, titled New Synthetic Methods – Design and Application. The talks were all very interesting and the event exposed me to new areas of Chemistry.

‘Over the past year, I am pleased to have had a greater role in outreach work at my university. Nottingham’s Pint of Science, a global festival of scientific talks, is organised every year by a local network of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) postgraduates - I had the privilege to return to this event for a second year, this time organising three nights of talks to highlight frontier-leading Nottingham-based research at a local microbrewery. The event allowed me to meet many enthusiastic people from a variety of scientific and non-scientific backgrounds and overall was a massive success for Nottingham, with over 1200 attendees. I continue to be involved with hands-on workshops for local 16-18-year olds held within the Chemistry department’s teaching labs and also act as a lab demonstrator for current undergraduates studying practical inorganic chemistry.

‘The SCI Messel scholarship has allowed me to attend several research meetings, including those hosted at the SCI headquarters, which I am very grateful for. I am hoping to pull myself away from the lab in the coming year to attend more SCI events and a few conferences, using these opportunities to present and interact further with industry. Next year I also intend to temporarily move from Nottingham for a short industrial placement with GSK as part of my CASE award.’

Amy Flinn
PhD Student
University of Nottingham

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