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21 March 2011
The first group of President’s Research Scholars have been officially welcomed to the University.
The University’s President, Professor Sir Martin Evans and Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Grant welcomed the scholars to the University at an official event this week.
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The President’s Research Scholarships were established to coincide with the inauguration of Professor Sir Martin Evans as Cardiff University’s new President in 2009.
The scholarships are designed to attract students seeking to work on exciting and challenging projects in dynamic and well-resourced research environments under the supervision of successful and established researchers.
The first students have already joined the University, the majority of them from the UK but including outstanding students from countries worldwide.
As part of the event a specially commissioned video featuring the stories of three of the President’s Research Scholars - Robert Davies, Claudia Di Napoli and Mustafa Hameed was shown.
Maintaining his close contact with the engineering industry and studying for his PhD into low carbon composites for the construction industry was a key factor that attracted President’s Research Scholar, Robert Davies to apply for his scholarship.
Telling his story, Robert says: "My President’s Research Scholarship is undertaken in collaboration with Alun Griffiths (Contracts) Ltd, an important conduit for me to maintain contact with industry during my studies.
"My aim is to be a world-renowned and well respected Civil Engineer. The prestige of the President’s Research Scholarship will stand me in good stead when the time comes to pursue an academic post or return to a career in industry in years to come."
Other areas under investigation include the ice sheets in past eras of global warming and the effect of environmental change on the Severn Estuary. Many other projects tackle issues of sustainability.
They include decarbonising the power sector, planning in Sub-Saharan Africa and biofuels production. Health projects include new therapeutics for breast cancer and imaging of functions in the brain cortex.
President’s Research Scholar, Claudia Di Napoli who is studying Bioimaging and in particular, the study of intracellular lipid droplets through a new optical microscopy technology, the Coherent Antistokes Raman Scattering (CARS) microscopy, says: "It means having the economic and concrete opportunity to study two of my favourite subjects in a cross-disciplinary context with well-prepared and qualified staff in a world-leading research country such as the UK.
"Another aspect - not less important - was represented by the fact that that Scholarship was established in honour of a Nobel Prize winner, Professor Sir Martin Evans.
"Everybody working in science knows how prestigious this is. I think that working in a University whose President has been awarded such an important recognition of his work is amazing."
Another area under investigation is multiculturalism and national identity. President’s Research Scholar, Mustafa Hameed said: "What most attracted me to Cardiff is its emphasis on interdisciplinary knowledge.
"In relation to my PhD research it straddles across the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, history, politics and psychology. Cardiff University really supplies the intellectual framework and network which facilitates this contemporary reality. I would say it is far ahead of most universities in the UK in this respect.
"Without the funding I would most definitely have ended my academic career due to financial constraints. So it is really about affording me the opportunity to contribute positively to my field."
To mark the occasion, the President’s Research scholars also received a specially commissioned scarf.
The event follows a recent call by the University’s President for the most promising students to consider the President’s Research scholarships on offer in a bid to retain and attract the best minds to the University.
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