The SET awards are provided by the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee and aim to encourage, support and promote Britain's early-stage and early-career research scientists, engineers and technologists who are the "engine-room" of continued progress in and development of UK research and R&D. Many will be Britain's future scientific and technological leaders and are a vital asset and investment for the UK.
This year’s winner in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences category was Xiaoqi Feng, in the third year of a DPhil in Plant Sciences at Magdalen College, Oxford. Her winning poster presentation, ‘Male meiotic cells and their tapetal nurse calls are derived from distinct cell lineages in higher plants’, looked at a discovery about plant reproduction which could help with developing new strategies for seed production. Xiaoqi Feng found the event useful. ‘I am very happy I won – it came as a real surprise, especially considering the high standard of the other entries I saw! But what was even more rewarding was getting the opportunity to meet young researchers in different fields from all over the UK and to find out about their cutting-edge research.’ She notes that her work would not have been possible without the support she has received from colleagues and friends. ‘I am also very grateful for the funding for my study and research provided by the Clarendon Scholarship and the ORS Award – without it, none of this would have been possible.’ She added: ‘It is essential that young scientists are able and willing to communicate with the general public and politicians, to make sure that science stays in touch with real life and to promote science-friendly policy that can benefit society.’
It has been a busy 12 months for Xiaoqi Feng since she also won the Society for Experimental Biology Young Scientist Award 2009 and was part of the University of Oxford team that won the UK Environment Young Entrepreneurs Scheme.
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