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SET for Britain 2011, More Southampton Success!

Published: 4 April 2011

SET for Britain 2011, More Southampton Success!

This annual event is a must for aspiring early career researchers as it provides a great opportunity to showcase your project and fine-tune your communication skills by telling MPs why your work is important. This year Andrew Treharne from  Professor Andrew Lotery's group came away with a prestigious Gold Award (and some hard cash!).  Congratulations to him and thanks for writing the short piece below encouraging other early career researchers to follow his lead:

"Earlier this year, I was selected to present a poster at the SET for Britain competition in the House of Commons.  SET for Britain is an annual poster competition encouraging politicians to engage with some of the exciting research happening around the UK as presented by the people actually doing the research.  As the event is in London, it also attracts a lot of companies and professional bodies.  For me, this provided a great opportunity to get my research heard by a wide variety of people from different organisations and raise the profile of what I am doing.  The event also provided a great opportunity to network with other early career researchers and excellent experience of how to communicate research to a diverse audience.  

The poster competition has 4 sections (Engineering, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry and Physics).  Each section is judged by a panel of academic judges who decide on Gold, Silver and Bronze winners for each section who all receive generous cash prizes.  All of the Gold winners are then judged by a new panel to decide an overall winner.  I was presenting my research into developing polymer scaffolds towards treatments for degenerative retinal diseases.  A collaborative project between the Schools of Chemistry and Medicine.  I won the Gold Chemistry prize (Roscoe medal) and the overall prize (Westminster medal).  Southampton often features amongst the medal winners across different sections.  I definitely encourage others to submit an application for next year's event, you never know where it might lead."

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