SCI Scholar, Kay Yeung, presents her End of Year Report

10 October 2017

11 Oct 2017

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 around 71 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.

Key Yeung was awarded an SCI Scholarship in 2016. Here, she tells us about herself and her research project.

‘I would like to thank SCI for their continued support throughout the past year. I am grateful to have gained many exciting opportunities as a SCI scholar, including the invitation to the Scholars Day at the SCI headquarters in London last year. Not only was it a great chance to meet the Early Careers Committee and other members, I was also introduced to the new SCI student innovation competition (SCIdea). Since then, I have been involved in the organisation and I am looking forward to seeing the success of the competition in February 2018.

'In the past year in Professor David Procter's group, my research has focused on developing the use of copper catalysis in multi-component reactions to afford complex, highly functionalised organic molecules. To our delight, our work was published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 11912-11916) as an editor-chosen 'hot paper' and has also been highlighted in Synfacts. Subsequently, to highlight the recent advances in this field of chemistry, we have also published a review in Chemical Science this year (Chem. Sci. 2017, 8, 5240-5247).

'I have been fortunate to have gained many opportunities to present my work to the wider chemistry community in the past year. In January, I was successful in securing an opportunity to deliver an oral presentation at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute & University of Manchester Chemistry Symposium. My presentation was titled "Enantioselective copper-catalysed multi-component assembly of high value amines and vinyl boronates". It was a rewarding experience for me to share my research, which generated insightful discussions besides building my confidence and communication skills. In May, I participated as a poster presenter at the University of Manchester School of Chemistry Postgraduate Conference and at the RSC Organic Division North West Regional Symposium. At the postgraduate conference, I was also delighted to represent SCI as an exhibitor, which was a great chance for me to share my experience as a SCI member and to introduce SCI to my peers.

'SCI has also generously supported my attendance at the 19th IUPAC International Symposium on Organometallic Chemistry Directed Towards Organic Synthesis (OMCOS19) held in Jeju, Korea in June 2017. I received a SCI Leverhulme Travel Bursary to cover the registration fee, travel and accommodation expenses. There were many excellent speakers from around the world sharing their recent research in organometallic chemistry at OMCOS19. There were over 400 posters at the conference and I was delighted to receive a lot of interest in my poster presentation. At the end of the conference, I was one of nine presenters to be awarded a poster prize. Without the support from SCI, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to attend and participate at the conference. It was a truly memorable experience for me and I have indeed benefited a huge amount.

'In the coming year I look forward to meeting the new scholars at the SCI scholars day in December and to present my research at the AGM conference next year. Once again, I would like to thank SCI for their scholarship, travel bursary and continuous new opportunities that are enriching my PhD experience.’

Key Yeung
PhD Student
University of Manchester

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