Scholarship awards evening celebrates research success

The achievements of student research scholarships and expeditions were celebrated at a presentation evening on 18th October 2015.

The event, which took place in the Curtis Auditorium, consisted of six students showcasing the work they have carried out throughout the past year, followed by an awards ceremony that included the faculties of Medical Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Science, Agriculture and Engineering.

According to Professor Suzanne Cholerton, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor “A research scholarship provides an opportunity for students to find out what research is like, to develop research and problem solving skills and to engage in enquiry based learning.”

Newcastle University funds many research scholarships, including one carried out by Abigail Lowe, a Bachelor of Medicine student.

Lowe is currently studying the evaluation of care processes and clinical outcomes in pregnancy complicated by diabetes where it is anticipated that her findings will be presented at the UK Obstetric Society Meeting and published as a paper.

Throughout the year, 120 projects were undertaken in which fifteen students were successfully granted external funding from other organisations such as the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Physiological Society, and the Wellcome Trust.

Four expeditions were undertaken by students during the past year, including one to Greenland which consisted of six BA Physical Geography students investigating the interaction between ice loss and hydrology on the Russell Glacier for their dissertation.

External funding from organisations other than Newcastle University play an significant part in helping students to pursue their research, particularly in this case where £8,600 was granted by Sonia Stonehouse fund, the Royal Geographical Society, and other various organisations.

According to Dr Emma Pearson, the Chair of the University Expeditions Committee:

“Organising an overseas expedition is a challenging exercise, requiring students to develop research aims and objectives, identify study sites, learn new techniques, obtain field equipment, and liaise with research counterparts and institutions overseas.”

“The students who rise to these challenges gain a wide range of valuable skills and also benefit from team-working and leadership experience.

They always return with new skills, a huge sense of satisfaction and fulfilment, and increased confidence and maturity”, Pearson continues.

Other presentations were delivered by Rebecca MacDermid, a BA Politics and History student, whose project involved looking at the Decade of Centenaries and The Irish Diaspora in Tyneside.

Elliott Jordan Eden Atkins, a BSc (Hons) Biology student, presented his work on the impact of a lack of starch has on a plants ability to tell the time.

Using funding provided by Newcastle University, BA History with Spanish student Katie Bethan Smith was able to travel to Patagonia to investigate the recent revival of Welsh culture in the Chubut valley.

After the presentations were delivered, awards were distributed from the three faculties to praise the hard work carried out by students.

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