Exeter College student Ryan Ellison (2016) has been named one of 25 people from the University of Oxford to be awarded a Laidlaw Scholarship in 2018. Ryan, who is studying for an MBiochem in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, has been awarded the scholarship to undertake a research project entitled ‘Genetically engineering E. coli to target and kill colon cancer cells using a Type VI secretion system’ at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) at Aix-Marseille University, France.
The Laidlaw Scholarship Programme was established to help develop leadership potential in the world’s top students. By bringing together a group of international scholars across a wide range of disciplines, the programme creates an exciting, diverse and inspirational learning environment. Those taking part in the scholarship gain knowledge in a chosen field while developing the essential skills needed as a leader.
There are three core elements to the programme: a research project, leadership training, and building a network for the future.
The research project gives scholars the chance to pursue, in depth, an area of interest, with the support of an academic supervisor. The scholar has the overall responsibility for managing and delivering the project, developing intellectual rigour, project-management skills, critical thinking, and the ability to communicate conclusions clearly.
The leadership training is designed to help foster skills essential to a scholar’s future career. It covers key areas such as critical self-reflection, greater understanding of others, intercultural understanding and global citizenship, communication and collaboration, problem solving, and decision making.
The scholarship creates a network of ambitious and talented people working across disciplines and borders. New scholars have the chance to connect with former scholars and supervisors at networking events.
Scholars from the University of Oxford receive up to £9,500 to help with their research project, cover travel expenses, and meet laboratory expenses where necessary. Some of the other research topics that students from the University of Oxford will explore in 2018 include: What can West Greenlandic tell us about the distinction between grammar and lexicon? Exploring aphasia in a polysynthetic language; Developing a novel ozone parameterisation to speed up climate change simulations; The visual grammar of ISIS’s propaganda: How ISIS appropriates and adapts Western film techniques; and An interrogation of the CD4-Lck protein-protein interaction and its biological significance in T cell triggering. As well as Oxford and other universities in the UK, this year’s contingent will conduct research in Denmark, France, Germany, Israel and the USA.