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Research funding for University of Sussex graduates
4:50pm Thursday 20th September 2012 in News
Buy this photo » Lekshmy Balakrishnan working on breast cancer research
By Natalie Laurence
Talented second year university students have each been awarded a bursary up to £1,800 in a new research scheme to inspire future academics.
From research on bees to surrealism, a total of 22 University of Sussex undergraduates have been awarded a Junior Research Associate bursary (JRA) to fund up to two months of research in the county over the summer.
The pioneering scheme, run by the Doctoral School, was made possible by alumni donations.
JRA is to encourage ambitious undergraduates to consider postgraduate study and a career in research.
The students, who have excelled in undergraduate study, either assisted on research projects or conducted their own research in a wide variety of areas.
Yesterday (September 19) students presented their work at an exhibition on the university campus.
Surrealist English undergraduate, Claudia Cockrell, explored the life of Sussex man Edward James, a substantial figure in the surrealist movement and collaborator with Salvador Dali.
Wild flower forage
Miss Cockrell said: “The opportunity to gain experience working in a research-intensive atmosphere and building on my academic portfolio was something not to be missed.
“To also have it funded was the icing on the cake.”
Life sciences student Katherine Fensome spent the summer on the Downs, recording flower species for a survey of wild flower forage for bees.
She was working at the University’s Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects, as the team is currently researching several projects investigating honey bee health and behaviour as part of the Sussex Plan.
Other notable work ranged from breast cancer research by Lekshmy Balakrishnan, work on one of the world’s biggest physics experiments by Jack Miller and Melvyn Ansell who conducted molecular research into the chemistry of greenhouse gases.
Professor Richard Black, head of Global Studies and speaking on behalf of organisers the Doctoral School, said: “The JRA scheme has proved highly popular among our undergraduates and there has been heavy competition for places.
“The work produced by our JRA students is of an extraordinary quality and bodes well for the future of top-flight research at Sussex.
“Our alumni deserve special thanks for supporting such a rewarding and innovative scheme.”