Research scholarship opens up future options for podiatry student

Tue, 12 May 2020 16:19:00 BST
Nancy was encouraged to apply for the scholarship by her lecturer, Dr Ruth Barn
Nancy was encouraged to apply for the scholarship by her lecturer, Dr Ruth Barn

A GCU student has been accepted for a prestigious national scholarship – giving her the opportunity to build research skills for a career in podiatry.

Nancy Kelleher, who’s in her third year studying BSc Podiatry, was encouraged by her lecturer to apply for the Carnegie Trust Vacation Scholarship, which gives students the chance to develop research skills through a summer project.

Her research, which is being completed at home due to lockdown, will be looking into rates, predictors and impact of joint damage in early rheumatoid arthritis.

Nancy explained what led to her getting involved and how she felt after receiving the news that her application was successful.

She said: “One of our classes looks at medical research and my lecturer Dr Ruth Barn noticed that I was really interested in it.

I went to talk to her about an assignment and she mentioned the scholarship and I said it would be amazing to get involved in that sort of thing.

From there, I was put in touch with Dr Gordon Hendry, who’s been amazing throughout the whole process.”

Nancy added: “When I sent off the application it was just a case of thinking that I might as well try my luck.

I was honestly shocked when I found it I’d got it – it gives me such a good opportunity to become confident in my research skills.

It won’t be an issue doing my work from home, as I’ll be re-evaluating data rather than actually collecting it.”

Nancy admitted that the opportunity to get involved in research while at GCU has opened up so many doors for whatever career route she chooses in future.

She explained: “A lot of students don’t know what they want to do when they finish university but my biggest issue is that I want to experience everything!

I previously taught English over in Spain and one of my best friends is from Estonia, so I’ve been helping support her throughout her studies - which has shown me the benefit of teaching.

I wouldn’t rule out going down the lecturer route and I’m also keen to try and get my PHD, so who knows what the future holds!”

By Ross Clark

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