My Path Through Research

The Trials and Triumphs of Doing a PhD

RSC ChemCareers 2011 Postgraduate Competition

As I wrote in my progress report post, I was selected as a finalist in the Royal Society of Chemistry‘s ChemCareers 2011 Postgraduate Competition. This competition offered postgraduate students the possibility to present their research, either as a poster or a presentation, to other students as well as industry. I decided to take part as I always like talking about my research and, more importantly, learn about other research going on in the wider field.

The first part of the competition required the participants to upload their poster or presentation to the MyRSC postgraduate group within a specific field of chemistry (materials, analytical, computational etc). Once uploaded, other members of the group could ask questions about the works. At this stage the work was judged by 4 student judged who asked questions as well and judged the participants on scientific content, style/presentation and discussion/response to questions.

In total 29 of the originally submitted work was selected for the final: 4 from each category (and 5 in one due to a tie). I was lucky enough to come top in the materials category as judged by peers, so I was very happy about that. However, there was then the final part of the competition, which was to be judged by people in industry.

The final took part at a networking event at the RSC’s Burlington House in London, where posters were exhibited and for those of us who had presentations, presentations given. It was a really enjoyable event, even if it was meant to be a competition, mainly due to the friendliness of the judges, the organisers and the other participants, all of whom were really interested in each other’s work. The good food and drinks on offer also helped.

Presentations over, and the results were in! Even though I didn’t win, I was really happy to be one of two to be given an honourable mention for my work. It showed that the applied and interdisciplinary nature of my research is appreciated even within a pure chemistry forum.


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November 2011
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