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FindAPhD Scholarships 2017 - The Winners

This year we had so many amazing entries to our FindAPhD scholarship competition, and picking a winner was no easy task! Thank you to everyone who took part – you made judging very difficult!

We’re very proud to introduce our 2017 winners below, congratulations to you all!

If you’re thinking of starting a PhD, sign up here to receive information about our latest PhD Scholarships.

FindAPhD Top Prize Scholarship (£5,000)

FindAPhD Scholarship Competition 2017 Winner (£5,000)

Emma Burnett

Country of origin: UK
PhD: Alternative Food Networks (Geography)
University: Open University

I wish I could express how I feel about winning more meaningfully than amazing, and awesome, and incredible. I feel like I could fly. Except that I’m not great with heights. With feet firmly on the ground, I’m over the moon. was instrumental in giving me a clearer understanding of the academic landscape, helping me identify places to apply, and, through the blog, making me feel like I was part of a larger community of people going through the same process.

I chose my course because the people I met and talked with were supportive, and because the interview I had was really fun. That may sound odd, because interviews can be stressful, but I came away with some thoughtful points for further exploration, and a sense that the interviewers (my potential supervisors) were as interested in my topic as I was.

I love my field, academically and practically. I plan to complete my PhD and remain in academia, but I’d also like to ensure my work has practical outcomes for policy, activists, and funding bodies.

FindAPhD Runner-up scholarship (£500)

FindAPhD Scholarship Competition 2017 Runner Up (£500)

Serat-E Ali

Country of origin: United Kingdom
University: University of Liverpool

I am grateful that has selected me as a runner up for the 2017 scholarship competition, and appreciative of all those who voted, shared my post and helped create my video. I hope the short video makes everyone laugh and helps promote the great work done by the team! is the first website anyone who is considering doing postgraduate studies should visit. During my MSc, I visited the website daily to look at the latest PhDs, and their website had all the relevant information on how to get in contact with supervisors. I received regular emails about relevant PhD’s, which helped me keep my applications going as it is easy to give up if you cannot find the right project. The advice section on the website helped me complete my application, write a personal statement, prepare for the interview and for my first day as a PhD student. Even now, as a full time PhD student, I check the website and Facebook pages for advice.

I am currently at the world-renowned MRC Centre for Drug Safety Science, established by the University of Liverpool to bring together a critical mass of knowledge and technologies in order to advance the understanding of Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs). The DiMeN DTP particularly interested me as it aims to utilise the combined expertise of four world-leading institutions and existing and emerging strengths to deliver a unique, flexible, student-centred programme of training to tackle genuine problems that the population is currently facing.

I hope that I can contribute to the field of ADRs, helping predict the likelihood that novel compounds will cause immune reactions. After completing a PhD, I look forward to working at the forefront of research whether that be industry or academia.

FindAPhD Runner-up scholarship (£500)

FindAPhD Scholarship Competition 2017 Runner Up (£500)

Chris McLeod

Country of origin: United Kingdom
PhD: Eating Behaviour
University: Loughborough University

I can’t believe I have been given this award. I’m so grateful to for looking to support all self-funded PhD students in offering these prizes, and of course I am even more grateful to have been chosen as a winner. have been fantastic. The incredibly helpful team behind the Facebook messenger service and the functionality of the website search helped me see all the possibilities and ultimately allowed me to secure my dream role.

I was at Loughborough for my MSc degree, a course I chose from looking at the choices on Loughborough was the best place for me to do my MSc in Sports Nutrition. It was then an obvious choice to compare all possibilities on for my PhD, and then realise that Loughborough was still the best place for me to continue my academic career.

I would love to continue my research career at a top university, to lecture and to inspire the next generation and there is no better way of doing that than by undertaking a PhD.

FindAPhD Runner-up scholarship (£500)

FindAPhD Scholarship Competition 2017 Highly Commended (£100)

Kelleigh Greene

Country of origin: United Kingdom
PhD: NERC CENTA DTP in Earth, Environment and Ecosystems
University: The Open University

It is a great feeling to be a Highly Commended winner in the 2017 FindAPhD scholarship competition!

I have used the tools provided by FindAMasters and FindAPhD throughout my postgraduate education. The website has been my go-to source of information on courses, funding, and tips and tricks for crafting a successful application.

I am fascinated by entomology, and specifically, the interactions between insects and plants. So naturally, when a PhD studentship researching bee orchids and their pollinators became available at The Open University through the NERC CENTA DTP, I jumped at the opportunity.

The STEM school of Earth, Environment and Ecosystems at The Open University is welcoming and inclusive, as well as having a reputation for world-leading research, so I knew it was a great place to develop as a researcher. Being part of a doctoral training consortium like CENTA also means I have the opportunity to develop a well-rounded skillset through the extra research training programme.

For the next three and a half years I am focusing on answering questions about the ecology and evolution of bee orchids and their pollinators, which will hopefully give us insights that we can use to conserve the rare plants in the future. Through the opportunities offered at The Open University and CENTA, I will be able to direct my own development plan to match my own interests. I plan to gain experience in science communication and public engagement alongside my research, so that at the end of my PhD I have the choice of staying in academia or moving into another area of science.

Congratulations to all our 2017 winners from!

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