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The ESU professional development scholarships are not always as visible as our other programmes but they are just as valuable to the participants involved.
The Lindemann Trust Fellowship was established under the will of Brigadier Charles Lionel Lindemann who directed that his residuary estate should be used to provide income for the provision of Fellowships in the Physical Sciences to be awarded by the English-Speaking Union on behalf of the trust. Brigadier Lindemann wished to assist men and women with outstanding potential to become distinguished scholars or teachers in their chosen field. Last year’s scholars are currently in the US and have sent interim reports of their experiences.
Daniel Burnham is at the University of Washington, Donna Wilton is at Stanford University and Martin Shotter is at the Quantum Processes and Metrology Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, outside of Washington DC. All three scholars have commented on how valuable their fellowship has been. Donna says, “Since arriving at the beginning of January, I have been exposed to a vast range of chemistry and new technologies. The facilities, technical expertise and support within the Trost group and the Chemistry department as a whole, are excellent. Professor Trost has a strong commitment to training and I have been encouraged to continue to learn by keeping up-to-date with current literature and by attending classes and seminars given at the university.
Our bi-weekly group meetings are also excellent opportunities to learn about the chemistry that is being conducted within the group and further afield, and to discuss the challenges being faced.” She concludes by saying “the Lindemann Trust Fellowship has provided me with an incredible life experience and I have really enjoyed meeting and sharing knowledge with a vast range of people both in and out of the laboratory. This is a fantastic opportunity that has greatly benefited both my personal and professional development.” Martin Shotter says that “the group provides an excellent base for the research which I am conducting; I have been made to feel very welcome here... I would like to thank the Lindemann committee for the opportunities and experiences that this Fellowship is providing.”
Daniel is working in a chemistry department and had previously been based in physics departments. He says, “Both the academic and social culture of the US, having up until then worked mainly in the UK, were large adjustments but are now providing some of the best experiences of my life. Leaving my PhD studies behind in a relatively small group and moving to work within a body of over 20 people with a broad interdisciplinary knowledge base has been a fantastic opportunity providing many new challenges. Without exception I have, and still am, learning new things or skills each day.” He continues, “the award has also permitted me the funding and time to write up two journal articles describing some work from my PhD. Without the funding and associated freedom the knowledge within these papers would not have reached its potential audience.... my personal skill set is developing enormously both inside and outside of academia.”
The interviews for this year’s scholars took place on 20 April and three fellowships were awarded to Timothy Craggs, John Biggins and Themis Prodromakis.