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Chemistry student’s Laidlaw Scholarship success

Posted on 16 May 2017

A chemistry undergraduate student has won one of the first Laidlaw Scholarships in York.

Laura Berga

Laura Berga, BSc student, is one of 25 students to receive a Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship. This is a new programme that equips undergraduate students with the skills to become leaders in their chosen occupations.

The programme comprises of two elements: the student carries out a research project, supervised by an academic research mentor and the completion of a leadership development programme, which can lead to an Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) qualification.

The scholarship also provides the student, mentor and their relevant department with a generous stipdend.

To apply for the scholarship, Laura has to complete an application form, including designing her own research project and attend a Cognitive Ability Test (CAT).

Laura said "I am very lucky and privileged to be one of 25 Laidlaw Scholarship winners. It is an excellent opportunity to develop new skills, participate in the Leadership Programme and conduct the research, which for me is the most exciting part.

“The application process was challenging but definitely worth it. The most difficult part was writing the research proposal, which had to explicitly explain my ideas and choice of my research topic.

"I am very glad that my Academic Mentor is Seishi Shimidzu, who challenged me to think outside the box.”

Dr Seishi Shimizu, Laura’s academic research mentor, said "Laura is bright and remarkably resilient. I have asked her many tough questions without any compromise and she is always up for a challenge.

“We very much look forward to working with her on the notoriously difficult historical question: cellulose solubilization mechanism."

Laura will commence her research project during the summer vacation.

Notes to editors:

For more information about the Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship, visit