Dr Ruaraidh McIntosh

Dr Ruaraidh McIntosh received a Carnegie Vacation Scholarship in 2000-01, while studying Chemistry at Heriot-Watt University where he is now a Research Fellow.

What motivated you to undertake a Carnegie Vacation Scholarship?

I was looking for relevant summer work which would complement my degree course (Chemistry). I had applied to a number of commercial/industrial companies but hadn’t had much success. At the time, I didn’t even know it was possible to work in the academic labs over the summer but when it was advertised I was immediately interested applying.

What impact of the funding did the funding from the Trust have?

The vacation scholarship gave me the opportunity to work in a research lab for the summer, alongside several PhD students and postdocs. I learned a lot over the summer; not just practical skills and new chemistry but also what a PhD actually involved. It was a fantastic experience which inspired me to remain and university to study for a PhD, something I had never considered previously. My PhD studies were also funded via the Carnegie Trust and ultimately led to me gaining a permanent academic position where I now run my own research group.

What advice would you give to students thinking of applying?

Go for it! Whether you are considering a future career in academia or not, it’s an opportunity to see what is involved in research. You can develop new skills and also apply the knowledge you have been learning to some real-life problems.

Awarded: Vacation Scholarship

Field: Chemistry

University: Heriot-Watt

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