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York researcher wins silver for chemistry display in Parliament

Posted on 20 March 2013

A University of York PhD student has won a Silver award at a competition in the House of Commons for the excellence of his chemistry research.

PhD student Stephen Bromfield at the SET for Britain competition in the House of Commons

Stephen Bromfield, a third-year PhD Student in York’s Department of Chemistry, presented his research, which looks at reducing side-effects caused by drugs used during surgery, to dozens of politicians and a panel of expert judges, as part of the poster competition SET for Britain.

His research, which involves making biodegradable molecular building blocks to counteract drugs which are used to reduce the risk of blood clots during, for example, heart surgery, was judged against 29 other shortlisted researchers’ work.

Stephen, 24, who received a £2,000 prize, said: "I’m very proud to be awarded this prestigious prize which recognises not only the quality of the research carried out in the Smith group at the Department of Chemistry in York, but also the work that goes into making our results accessible to the non-expert.

“Communication is a vital facet of science and I hope that as a result of the valuable discussions at SET for Britain, politicians and policy makers can begin to realise the vital contributions chemistry can make in solving a wide range of problems."

SET for Britain aims to help politicians understand more about the UK’s thriving science and engineering base and rewards some of the strongest scientific and engineering research being undertaken in the UK.

I’m very proud to be awarded this prestigious prize which recognises not only the quality of the research carried out in the Smith group at the Department of Chemistry in York, but also the work that goes into making our results accessible to the non-expert

Stephen Bromfield

Nick Gooch, Managing Director of AgChemAccess, sponsors of the Silver Medal in the Chemistry Section of the Competition, said: “We have sponsored SET for Britain for a number of years, to support the next generation of UK scientists that will be required to enable UK PLC to stay ahead of its global competitors.”

Professor Lesley Yellowlees, President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said at the awards: "Since 1841, the Royal Society of Chemistry has been helping chemists to tell the world about their amazing discoveries, just as you are doing here today.

"You’ve all done yourselves proud and the chemical sciences too. And I’m delighted to award those that the judging panel felt stood out as truly exceptional.”

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee run the event in collaboration with the Institute of Physics, the Physiological Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Society of Biology and the Society of Chemical Industry, with financial support from BP, Airbus/EADS, INEOS, AgChemAccess, Essar, the Institute of Biomedical Science, GAMBICA and WMG.

Andrew Miller MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, said: “This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers. 

“These early career scientists are the architects of our future and SET for Britain is politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work.”

Notes to editors:

  • SET for Britain is a poster competition in the House of Commons – involving approximately 180 early stage or early career researchers – judged by professional and academic experts.  All presenters are entered into either the engineering, the biological and biomedical sciences, the physical sciences (chemistry), or the physical sciences (physics) session, depending on their specialism.

    Each session results in the reward of Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates.  Bronze winners receive a £1,000 prize; Silver, £2,000; and Gold, £3,000.  There is also be an overall winner from the four sessions who receives the Westminster Wharton Medal.

    SET for Britain was established by Dr Eric Wharton in 1997.  Following his untimely death in 2007, the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, with support from the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Physics, the Society of Biology, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Physiological Society and the Society of Chemical Industry are working together to further his legacy.

    The event (held on Monday, 18 March) was made possible this year by industry sponsors BP, Airbus/EADS, INEOS, AgChemAccess, Essar, the Institute of Biomedical Science, GAMBICA and WMG.

    Early stage or early career researchers include university research students, postgraduates, research assistants, postdocs, research fellows, newly-appointed lecturers, part-time and mature students, returners, those people embarking on a second career, and their equivalent in national, public sector and industrial laboratories, and appropriate final year undergraduate and MSc students, all of whom are engaged in scientific, engineering, technological or medical research. For more information visit www.setforbritain.org.uk/index.asp.

Contact details

Caron Lett
Press Officer

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