A UNIVERSITY student is celebrating after winning national recognition.

Virginia Mahieu, 22, has beaten competition from across the UK to win Action on Hearing Loss’s annual summer studentship project award.

The third year neuroscience student at the University of Sussex completed an eight week research project under the guidance of Professor Guy Richardson.

Her work included trying to find ways to protect the special cells in the ear that detect sound, called hair cells, from the destructive effects of a certain class of antibiotic.

She was awarded her prize by the charity’s executive director of biomedical research, Sohaila Rastan, in a ceremony in Brighton.

The charity invited universities from across the UK to apply to the scheme, awarding grants to 11 of them so they could give undergraduate scientists the chance to get involved in research into deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss through placements in world-leading laboratories.