Award-winning local students visit IoPPN

The winners of the 2015 NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Youth Awards have been announced, and the award winners and their mentors celebrated recently with a special lunch and certificate presentation at IoPPN in November.

Award winners Nazifa Aktar, Esther Ansah-Asamoah, Ethan Laurent, and Susanah Sonaike spent two days experiencing working life at IoPPN, meeting researchers, exploring facilities, and planning the BRC/U Youth Takeover Day with the Young People’s Mental Health Advisory Group.

The BRC Youth Awards recognise the ambitions of young people who go to school locally to IoPPN, and are given annually in three separate areas (Chemistry, biology and psychological health; Sociology, psychology and health; and Maths, computer science and health).  Winners receive a year’s mentoring from a BRC researcher, two days’ work experience, and a £50 book token.

According to Nazifa Aktar, one of the award winners, “Winning the award has allowed me to experience what working life is really like for a researcher, and has definitely helped me think more clearly about where I want to go with my career.  My mentor [name] has also been really helpful in guiding me through university applications.”

Dr Stephani Hatch, Senior Lecturer at the IoPPN, who runs the awards, says, “It was difficult to judge the outstanding applications we received, but this year’s winners were all extremely impressive.  It’s important to create opportunities like this to improve access to university life for young people interested in science, particularly in the local area.”
The BRC Youth Awards are part of the IoPPN Youth Awards which were set up by Dr Margaret Heslin, a research fellow and honorary lecturer in KCL’s Department of Health Services & Population Research, who grew up near to the IoPPN in Brixton.  After starting her own career in research, Margaret realised that there were few opportunities for young people attending local schools to experience university life and be encouraged to focus their education on science, which led her to set up the awards in 2013.

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By NIHR Maudsley BRC at 20 Nov 2015, 16:25 PM

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