SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS 2017-18:
THE PATRON'S FUND SCHOLARSHIP
Karl Friis Forchhammer is the recipient of the Patron’s Fund Scholarship, gifted to the Anglo-Danish Society by the Patron’s Fund in the wake of last year’s celebration of the ninetieth birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and generously augmented by a private donation. Karl Friis Forchhammer is a Danish documentary filmmaker who is one of only eight applicants this year to win a place at Britain’s renowned National Film and Television School to study for an MA in Film and Television.
Attracted to the strong Danish documentary tradition as well as to working abroad, he previously studied at the Czech film school FAMU and gained experience interning for Danish television and filmmakers.
The short films Karl has written and directed tell stories that are meant to cross borders and cultures and thus build bridges between people; he believes that documentary is one of the most powerful tools we have to create mutual understanding and trust. Karl’s referees describe his talent for documentary filmmaking as ‘extraordinary’. In particular, he has a gift for getting close to his subjects and making them feel safe even in vulnerable moments, and his filmic language displays a lightness of touch and humour.
Karl’s documentary short What to Do While Trains Pass By explores the lives of Roma teenagers in the Czech Republic, and was selected as one of only fifteen films from a field of hundreds to be screened at the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival.
Samuel Black: With a B.Sc. in Marine Science from the Scottish Association for Marine Science, Edinburgh native Samuel Black moved to Copenhagen in 2016 to undertake a Master of Science in Climate Change at the University of Copenhagen. This M.Sc. is internationally unique in its combination of natural and social sciences as applied to climate change, as befits a research centre in a capital city with ambitions to become carbon-neutral. He has previously spent a year studying Arctic geology and biology as an exchange student at the University Centre in Svalbard, the world’s northernmost higher education institution. Samuel is still considering whether to pursue an academic career, or to apply his skills to environmental consultancy or to a business start-up in climate-smart composting technology. In his spare time, Samuel runs triathlons, including the CELTMAN! extreme Scottish Triathlon.
Pernille Sørensen Bols holds a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Copenhagen, and will be moving to the University of Oxford later this year to begin work on her DPhil in Organic Chemistry. Her doctorate will investigate the mechanisms of photosynthesis and the design of materials for solar power generation. Pernille’s ambition is to build an academic career in Denmark. To this end, Pernille has gained experience teaching Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen, and impressed the ADS Scholarship Committee with her account of the value and impact of teaching. At an early stage of her academic career, Pernille has already contributed to a peer-reviewed article on synthetic carbohydrate chemistry in the journal Chem. Comm.
Frederik Federspiel will be undertaking a PhD in Public Health and Policy at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. His research focuses on improving the effectiveness and distribution of development assistance for controlling infectious diseases, with case studies in Burkina Faso and Zambia. Frederik holds a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, as well as Bachelor and Master degrees in medicine from the University of Copenhagen. He has clinical experience both at home in Denmark and abroad in Cameroon, Uganda and Nepal. Frederik has conducted global health research at Harvard University and is the Founder and Chairman of an international Non-Profit Organization: The People’s Fund for Global Health and Development (www.peoplesfundglobal.org).
Ciaran Gilbert is a PhD student at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, where his research focuses on probabilistic wind power forecasting. Using big data processing and machine learning techniques, Ciaran’s research aims to improve forecasting and thus support the reliable operation of future energy systems. His ADS scholarship will facilitate a period of research at DTU (the Technical University of Denmark), working with world-leading scholars in wind-power forecasting. It is hoped that Ciaran’s stay in Copenhagen will foster longer-term links between the two universities, and thereby contribute to research collaboration between Denmark and Scotland, both leading countries in terms of green technology.
Alexander Odgaard Heape is writing a D.Phil. thesis entitled ‘Altruism and Trust’ at the University of Oxford. His work sits at the intersection of moral philosophy and practical reasoning, and aims to provide a framework for accommodating familial, communitarian, and national obligations within the pursuit of transnational justice. Alexander’s thesis draws on the insights of K. E. Løgstrup, and thus develops ideas from Danish philosophy within the Anglo-American tradition in moral philosophy. Alexander is a former student of Aarhus University, where he gained a BA in Philosophy and Mathematics and an MA in Philosophy. Longer term, Alexander hopes to develop a framework for solutions to transnational problems such as migration, climate change, and economic integration.
Elizabeth Xiao-an Li embarked on her D.Phil. in Theology at the University of Oxford in 2016, researching the influence on Søren Kierkegaard of the Danish theologian and bishop Hans Lassen Martensen. Elizabeth’s dissertation aims to shed new light on Kierkegaard by making Martensen’s writings and ideas accessible to the international scholarly community. Elizabeth has already made her mark at Oxford, where her contributions to the life of the institution include convening a reading group on Modern European Thought, and working as a mentor for Widening Participation initiatives. She has also worked as a freelance translator and proofreader, as editor and co-founder of the Danish student philosophy journal TIDskrift.dk, and for an educational consultancy.
William Jønch Pedersen is a Danish baritone whose voice is described by his tutor as having ‘distinctive colour and real beauty’. William has won a place at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he will spend two years studying for a Master’s degree in music and performance, with an emphasis on classical singing, vocal studies and performance. He previously studied for a Bachelor of Music at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen, and has worked professionally as a singer for the Church of Denmark and Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir. He has appeared as a soloist at several concerts and has performed at opera festivals in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Castel Vittorio in Italy, and for Opera Hedeland.
Maike Hebogård Schӓfer will embark on an M.Sc. in African Development at the London School of Economics and Politics in autumn 2017, with a focus on the role of the large informal sector in developing countries’ economies. Maike is currently taking a Master’s degree in Economics at the University of Copenhagen and working part-time at Dalberg Global Development Advisors. In addition to a B.Sc. in Economics, Maike previously earned a B.Sc. in Business, Language and Culture with French language at Copenhagen Business School. Maike comes highly recommended by the World Bank, for which she has worked in Tanzania, and has also held a position at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has extensive volunteering experience, among others as an organiser and treasurer of the Danish Model United Nations conference between 2013 and 2016.
SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS 2016-17:
The biotech industry is key to the Danish economy, attracting global players in the industry to the Øresund Region, which has become known as Medicon Valley. This Danish-Swedish hotspot for Life Sciences is the ideal place for a new generation of biotech entrepreneurs to hone their skills and knowledge. Accordingly, the University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen Business School collaborate to offer an MSc in Business Administration and Bioentrepreneurship, which has attracted Bryony Bishop, one of our British awardees this year. Bryony’s course of study in Copenhagen builds on her BSc (First Class Honours) in Biochemistry and Management from Imperial College London and Imperial College London Business School in 2014. Bryony has already been in Denmark for a year and has been gaining experience working part-time for two Danish biotech start-ups: AthGene and DEMKIP. Her scholarship from the Anglo-Danish Society will help to support her as she embarks on the second year of her demanding programme, during which she will take four bio-business modules at Copenhagen Business School, write a thesis based on an entrepreneurial project, pitch a proposal to investors in Silicon Valley, and undertake a three-month unpaid internship with a Danish biotech company.
“Why did everything not just turn into light, right after the Big Bang?” With this question, and the compelling and lucid explanation of his work that followed it, Mikkel Bjørn’s application for an ADS Scholarship captivated the Scholarship Committee. In autumn 2016, Mikkel will be taking up his place as a DPhil student at the University of Oxford, and will be working on experimental studies of matter/antimatter symmetry using data produced at the LHCb project at CERN, Geneva. The Large Hadron Collider at CERN produces and detects particles under extreme conditions, allowing Mikkel and his fellow scientists to investigate the “subtle asymmetries” between matter and antimatter, and ultimately working towards an answer to the fundamental question in Mikkel’s application. Mikkel has previous experience at CERN where he participated in a summer school in theoretical and experimental particle physics, and his work there was shortlisted for the Moritz Karback prize for the best LHCb summer student work. Mikkel holds a Bachelor degree in Engineering (Physics and Nanotechnology) from DTU and an MSc in Physics from University of Copenhagen.
The study of consciousness remains a key challenge for science; a better understanding of consciousness would lead to improved diagnosis and treatment of a range of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Researchers of consciousness share the conviction that collaboration between the natural and social sciences will lead to a new understanding of consciousness that goes beyond mapping of brain-regions to take into account culturally-specific notions and experiences of consciousness. Juliet Davies-Horn brings an interdisciplinary background in neuroscience, neuropsychology and anthropology to this field, and embarked on a PhD at the University of Cambridge last year. During her studies, Juliet will be spending fourteen months in Denmark, based within a leading research unit exploring the science of consciousness. Juliet also has significant experience outside academia, working with the Red Cross, the United Nations and as a freelance researcher on projects that aimed to support communities suffering the psychological impacts of war and natural disasters.
In 2016, Serena Hebsgaard will be embarking on an MA in Migration and Diaspora Studies with Arabic Language at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London). The programme includes intensive Arabic language study, allowing Serena to consolidate what has characterised her studies so far: combining social sciences with languages and a creative dimension. Serena holds a BA in International Development Studies and French, earned as a combined degree at Roskilde University and at the University of Copenhagen. She has also studied in Ireland and Vietnam. Serena has experience of volunteer work in the Middle East teaching English and French in refugee camps, as well as in Copenhagen as a Danish teacher for Arabic-speaking refugees and for the Red Cross. She is a co-founder of the Danish NGO Børnebørn for Asyl (Grandchildren for Asylum) and has also worked as a translator. Ultimately, she aims to use her academic studies and extensive volunteering experience to work for the UNHCR, the branch of the UN concerned with refugee and migration-related issues, or another organisation specialising in migration, conflict resolution, human rights and development.
Agnes Tulstrup HENRIKSEN
The ancient Sumerian city-state of Ur, located in present-day Southern Iraq, was the site of extensive excavations in the 1920s and 1930s. From 1922 to the outbreak of the second World War, this archaeological project was reported in the British Press, shaping the public’s knowledge of the history and culture of Iraq. Objects from Ur were also important to the creation of the Baghdad Museum. This crucial era in British-Iraqi relations is the topic of Agnes Tulstrup Henriksen’s PhD in History at UCL, which has the working title ’Domesticating the Sumerians in Mandate Iraq (1922-1934)’. Her PhD studentship is a Collaborative Doctoral Award funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and involves working with the British Museum on the research, under the supervision of Professor Eleanor Robson at UCL and Assistant Keeper Jon Taylor at the British Museum. Agnes earned her BA and Cand. Mag degrees in Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Copenhagen and has also worked at the Ny Carlsberg Glytotek. She hopes to return to Denmark to pursue a career in museum work or academia.
Over the last decade or two, Denmark has produced far more than its fair share of talented film and television directors and screenwriters. We are thus very fortunate that aspiring Danish director Sigurd Kølster has decided to come to the UK to hone his skills. As one of only eight successful applicants, he has been accepted onto the MA Directing Fiction programme at London’s world-leading National Film and Television School, at the Royal College of Art. Sigurd Kølster’s short film In the Sea, which he wrote and directed, has featured at more than half a dozen film festivals worldwide. He also has extensive professional experience working as a Runner, Assistant Director, Director of Photography, and in other roles, including on Danish television drama familiar to British audiences: Forbrydelsen (The Killing), Borgen, and Arvingerne (The Legacy). His work on Broen/Bron (The Bridge) has been described by director Charlotte Sieling as “amazing…Sigurd really has an eye for framing, for atmosphere and for colour”. In London, Sigurd hopes to find his “personal voice as a filmmaker and to develop the hard nosed skills needed for the industry as a whole”.
Ciaran recently embarked on a PhD in Marine Fisheries Ecology at DTU (Danish Technical University), at Denmark’s National Institute of Aquatic Resources. His research will encompass a number of case studies of Danish fisheries in order to investigate the impact of commercial fishing in seafloor ecosystems. The Anglo-Danish Society Scholarship will facilitate Ciaran’s participation in a number of specialist taught courses such as programming and statistical analysis, and also at conferences where his work-in-progress can be discussed and disseminated. His research project aims to inform fisheries managers and scientists, and is also highly relevant to current reforms in EU Fisheries Policy and the adoption of an 'ecosystem approach to fisheries management'. Ciaran has extensive experience as a consultant marine ecologist, having worked on a broad range of infrastructure and development projects designed to reduce and monitor environmental impacts. His first degree was from Wales and his MSc in Marine Resource Development and Protection was completed at Heriott Watt University, Edinburgh where he gained a distinction. He hopes to return to consultancy after his PhD, or, alternatively, to pursue a career in marine fisheries science and management in Denmark or the UK.
Helene Holm OLSEN
In many liberal and democratic societies, there is an assumption that only the state has a mandate to use violence. However, recent history suggests that the use of violence by private military and security companies as well as terrorist organisations is an urgent issue for our time. This is the subject of Helene Holm Olsen’s PhD research, based at the world-renowned Department of War Studies at King’s College London. Helene has already experienced student life on both sides of the North Sea, having completed a BSc in Global Studies and EU Studies at the University of Roskilde in 2014, followed by an MA in War Studies at King’s in 2015. Helene’s interest in states and the organisation of violence ranges beyond her academic career. She has volunteered with the Danish Model United Nations (DanMUN), where she was involved in organising a week-long conference which enabled forty-five students to simulate the work of the UN Security Council. After her PhD, Helene plans to return to Denmark to teach and research her specialist subject.
2015-16: JAMES IAN BLACK
James is a musical scholar. He is currently in Copenhagen at the Royal Danish Academy of Music where he will complete a Master’s in musical composition this summer. His ambition however is to stay on at the Academy in Denmark on an Advanced Postgraduate Diploma course.
He is fascinated by the work of Per Noergaard and is working on taking forward, in his own way, Noergaard’s system of “infinity series”.
His early academic career took place at Oxford where he achieved a first in music at BA level and then went on to take a Master’s in composition - for which he was awarded a distinction.
His professors in Denmark stress the fruitful connection which now exists between Danish and British musical life to which they see James Black contributing through his compositions. He has composed works for, among others, the South Denmark Philharmonic. This in addition to having had his works performed in London, Bristol and Oxford.
2015-16: LILITH LOUISE LYSGAARD HASBECK
We are all used to the concept of product design. Whether it be a motor car or a sofa that we are about to buy design will consciously enter our decision process and influence our longer term experience with what we have bought.
But today our lives are more and more to do with services rather than products. In the UK 75% of the economy is now derived from services and yet it is only recently that the discipline of design has been seriously applied to how services can be presented to be as rewarding as possible to both users and providers.
The Royal College of Art - in association with Imperial College - recognizes this need with an MA in Service Design (not available in Denmark though there has been formal endorsement of the importance of service design) for which Lilith was selected through an intensely competitive process.
She is in the first year of a two year course. Her work to date (among other projects there was one for Camden Council, received enthusiastically by their executive team, to develop awareness of food waste in a domestic context) has been highly commended. The Head of Service Design at the RCA considers her to be an outstanding student who is fulfilling his very high expectations.
2015-16: NICOLAS HUBBARD
This candidate represents an unusual academic situation but one which is symbolic of what our scholarship programme is about namely interchange and cooperation between Denmark and the UK. In this case Nicholas is engaged in research which will lead to a joint PhD to be awarded by York and Aarhus Universities.
His subject is nuclear astrophysics, specifically how the nuclear processes power the stars and how the chemical elements originated. What happens in the dying phases of a star to the rate of the carbon generated from helium has multiple implications ranging from supernova explosions to the production of the chemical elements of which we are made. But this rate has so far eluded accurate measurement. This is what his research aims to remedy.
He took his Master’s degree in Physics with Astrophysics at York where he received the (suitably named) Oliver Heavens prize for the best overall performance. His new academic supervisors in Aarhus, where he is engaged in experiments with their accelerator, are enthusiastic about the collaboration.
2015-16: LONE DIANA HØRLYCK
With a background in medical studies (BSc Aarhus) and then psychology (BSc Aarhus and MSc Copenhagen) Lone has established herself as a Neuroscientist of great distinction. Her Master’s in Clinical Neuroscience was achieved with the highest marks of the year for ongoing work as well as for the thesis component. And this was achieved at University College London which is reputed to be the leading academic centre for neuroscience in Europe and second in the world.
She is now well advanced with her PhD, also at UCL. This focuses on how memory works and how negative emotions can affect it. This greater understanding can create opportunities for new treatments of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It can also have broader implications for how Alzheimer’s dementia is treated.
The subject is of great interest to researchers in Denmark where this work is less developed. One of the ways in which our award will support Lone is to allow her to intensify her dialogue with her counterparts there in this the final year of her PhD.
2015-16: JULIUS BIER KIRKEGAARD
Another physicist but one whose work is in a very different area namely biological physics. This is about applying the laws of physics to biology specifically in Julius’s case to the origin of multi-cellularity. Why, his PhD will ask, did organisms evolve from single cells to complex beings with trillions of cells? And what was the evolutionary advantage?
He will be studying an organism, choanoflagellate, which is our closest uni-cellular relative. This will involve the application, amongst other disciplines, of microhydrodynamics which is where his knowledge of physics will play a key role.
This research will be taking place at Cambridge University where a unique combination of theoretical resources and experimental laboratory facilities will be available to him in the shape of the Goldstein lab.
His earlier studies were at the Niels Bohr Institute including a stint at the California Institute of Technology. Consistently he was amongst the top students if not the top student of his peer group. Indeed he is the only student from the Niels Bohr Institute to have achieved, at every stage of his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, the top marks possible.
2015-16: SIGNE REHLING LARSEN
The issue of the democratic legitimacy of the EU’s political structure is a topic that has been increasingly voiced especially since the financial crisis of 2008.
Signe sees real threats to the project of European integration unless we can come to a better understanding of the causes of this perceived democracy deficit. Her PhD project is concerned with this challenge. She started her work at the London School of Economics last autumn. Our scholarship will help support her in her second year.
She points out that studies of the EU can never be contained within one discipline; inescapably they involve law, economics, politics, sociology and history. Hence the importance to her of being able to do her work at the LSE which provides, at the highest level, the interdisciplinary framework vital to her subject.
The breadth of her interests is reflected in her earlier studies: a BA in philosophy from Copenhagen and an MA in politics from The New School for Social Research in New York. This prestigious school awarded her the absolute maximum grade for her work there.
Her thesis supervisor in the Department of Law at the LSE sees adding a third discipline, law, as very much to her credit. He believes she has the qualities to more than justify this ambitious path and that it will lead to a freshness, vitality and originality in her work.
2015-16: PIA PERNILLE SØGAARD
Pernille is in the second year of her DPhil at Oxford. Her earlier degrees (Bachelor’s and Master’s) were from Copenhagen University in Molecular Biomedicine.
Her thesis focuses on the process of “cellular invasion”, a phenomenon which characterises such important diseases as arthritis and cancer. If the tendency of cells to degrade either the surrounding tissue or in the case of rheumatoid arthritis to eat into the bones can be inhibited this could lead to a plausible therapeutic strategy. However more work is required to understand the basic molecular biology behind the process. One of the key enzymes that drives the invasion has been identified but more needs to be known about how it is regulated.
The potential importance of her research is evidenced by invitations to present her findings to date at two international conferences this spring.
The Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology combines frontline science with close collaboration with the biotech industry making it an excellent example of how basic research can be translated into applied therapy. It has given special recognition to Pernille’s work by awarding her the Kennedy Trust Prize studentship.
Anni is a native of the Faroe Islands where she developed her interest in the life of our seas and oceans. In addition to her BSc in biology from the University of the Faroes she also has qualifications in bioinformatics and statistics.
In parallel with her studies she was employed part-time as a research assistant working with samples of zooplankton, seawater and oysters. This later led to participating in expeditions led by Professor Rogers to the Indian and Southern Oceans.
She now divides her time between the University of the Faroes and Oxford where the same Professor Rogers is supervising her D.Phil., the subject of which is the amount and geographical distribution of micro-organisms present on oceanic seamounts. These microorganisms are the basis of our marine ecosystems providing carbon source for the elements present at higher trophic levels. Not surprisingly it is where they are abundant that overfishing takes place and there is a danger that this could destroy vital ecosystems before we have even properly understood them.
Her work, which is thus both critical and urgent, represents an important collaboration between Oxford and the University of the Faroes. ________________________________________________________________
Morten will commence an MSc in Comparative and International Education at Oxford University in October 2014. The course can either be a freestanding degree or the first year of a Doctorate.
His Bachelor's degree from Aarhus University was in Education Science. As part of this degree he spent a semester at Madison University in the US where the topics studied included the "Internationalisation of Education". Consistent with this interest Morten is currently an intern at the European Commission's Directorate General for Education and Culture in Brussels. This is providing him with insights into how the EU develops its Education policies and governs within the Community.
His academic results and in particular his Bachelor dissertation (which analysed EU's promotion of indicators for teachers' professional development) contributed to his selection for the highly selective course at Oxford.
Morten intends to take his academic work to the level of a Doctorate and then to engage as an education policy leader in teacher development. He is concerned that quality indicators for teachers should be developed at the European level, thus broadening the debate to more than supply of teachers.
Emma will be participating in an MSc course in Drug Design at the Wolfson Institute at University College London (UCL) as part of her Masters in Advanced and Applied Chemistry from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) where she took her first degree culminating in a top grade thesis.
Her studies to date have involved biochemistry, physiology, cell biology, organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry as well as pharmaceutical engineering. At the same time she has become increasingly aware of a slowing down in the rate of new drugs coming to market. The Wolfson Institute offers a unique opportunity to study the development of drugs using computational techniques involving bio- and chemo-informatics, an area which has become of special interest to her and which would not be available elsewhere.
While at DTU she has worked as head of communications for the Biotech Academy, a non-profit organisation which develops innovative course material for Danish secondary and High Schools.
Sarah has two Masters degrees: one from Copenhagen University in Psychology and the second from UCL in Neuroscience. She has obtained both these degrees with either the highest available mark or distinction.
The complementary nature of these two disciplines qualifies her to make a unique contribution to her chosen field which is the understanding of the impact of stressful experiences (such as early trauma, neglect, poverty and parental psychopathology) on how a child develops. Her PhD thesis which she is undertaking at the Institute of Psychiatry (King’s College London) draws on clinical assessments, genetic data and neurological data to look not only at how these experiences may lead to psychiatric problems later in life but also at how they may even predict changes in the morphology of the brain.
Sarah has already published in “Depression and Anxiety” and is about to have a further paper appear in the “Journal of Abnormal Psychology”.
Anders is a top ranked BSc and MSc student from the Copenhagen Business School where he also found time to be president of the student body and undertake various internships including one at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington. This was important in developing his interest in what will be the subject of an MPhil degree at Cambridge, namely the role of public actor initiatives and public-private partnerships in development work.
The contribution they can make to sustainable development is a topic high on the agenda of governments not least of all in Denmark and the UK. However it is still an area which needs more scientific research on the barriers and opportunities.
Cambridge will offer Anders the opportunity to work alongside students from around the globe not least of all from developing countries. When he has completed this degree he plans to spend time in Africa gaining further field experience.
Ruairidh, a Scot from Dundee, is about to graduate from Edinburgh University with an MA in Scandinavian Studies (specialising in Danish) with German and EU studies. His skills in Danish have twice won him the Class Medal.
His proposed PhD subject is “Southern Jutland: the Linguistics of a borderland”. He plans an interdisciplinary approach involving multiple theories: linguistic, culture contact and transnational historiography. This will allow him to analyse how regional, national and transnational dimensions influence dialect, culture and the sense of nationhood.
He will locate himself at Roenshoved Hoejskole where he will also be teaching. This will enrich his access to regional linguistic resources in the form of both written and living examples. He will also have access to Syddansk University in Soenderborg.
The topic is both timely and relevant. Language variation and linguistic loyalty have seen much increased political interest recently especially in the EU.
Emma is a young soprano whose voice and stage presence has already attracted admiration in Denmark. She has succeeded in gaining a place for a Masters degree in Vocal Studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. Here she will broaden her training and experience with exposure to such outstanding teachers as Ann Murray, Felicity Lott and Barbara Bonney.
From winning the competition in Denmark for Young Classical Singers in 2012 and sharing opera stages at the Funen Opera with some of Denmark’s leading talent and now her time in Glasgow she will aspire to a career as an international opera singer.
The Artistic leader of Funen Opera suggests that this is not an empty ambition when he says this about her: “Every time I hear her I am struck by the beauty of her voice, and how easily she takes the stage or the concert hall. She has an almost second to none stage bearing, and she leaves the audience full of emotions”.
Gunvor is an anthropologist. She has her Masters Degree from Copenhagen University and is currently engaged in research at PhD level at SOAS. Female migration in West Africa is a growing phenomenon but little understood in detail. Analyses to date have tended to focus on economic and data at the macro level and little attention has been paid to the social aspects and to the migratory journey itself. Her findings based on fieldwork in Senegal with Malian women will redress this balance. She is uniquely qualified. She operates in three languages, English, French and Bamanankan and has already carried out a four country research project in Africa for the Oxford University based International Migration Institute. SOAS have recognised her exceptional qualities with a doctoral scholarship but her fieldwork requires further support which our grant will supply.
Christian has recently received his MSc in Mathematics from Copenhagen University. As part of this qualification he wrote his Masters thesis in the US at MIT. He has now been offered a PhD research position at St John’s College Cambridge. His work is in a branch of mathematics dealing with the properties of abstract geometric objects. The application of calculus to these objects has proved to be a powerful tool for learning about geometric objects in new and exciting ways. The implications of his research concern not only mathematicians but also physicists. He is strongly recommended by his professor at Copenhagen University who rates him as consistently one of the very best students in his department over a five year period.
Bulgarian at birth Ralitsa is now also a Danish national who has recently completed her bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biomedicine at Copenhagen with top marks. She was already a competitor at High School taking part in the finals of the nationwide Danish Chemistry Olympics. Her interest is exploring the molecular mechanisms underlying obesity and diabetes. More specifically her research will focus on insulin signalling and epigenetics. Epigenetics recognises that inheritable changes in gene expression are not exclusively a function of DNA mutations. For example early nutrition may contribute to the programming of cells such that the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and obesity later in life is increased. Fighting metabolic diseases, of obvious importance in today’s world, is Ralitsa’s ambition. She has been offered an MPhil position in Medical Science at Cambridge but needs to secure more finance to be able to go ahead.
Iain has studied Music at Edinburgh University where his supervisor referred to him as “one of the most talented and promising musicians to have emerged from the University in recent years”. He was organ scholar at St Giles Cathedral and at the same time established himself both as a conductor of many of the University’s orchestras and choirs and as the founder of both choral and instrumental groups. He is now at the Royal Danish Academy of Music where he is in the first year of a three year Advanced Postgraduate Diploma course in conducting under Giordano Bellincampi. The UK music world acknowledges that the programme in Copenhagen offers unrivalled opportunities for a combination of study, coaching and practice.
With a first degree in Geography from Edinburgh and then a Masters from Cambridge, Alexandra is now working on a PhD at the Centre for Ice and Climate at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. Her subject, how meltwater influences ice flow, is essential to a better understanding of water availability and sea level rise. Her work is based on data she is collecting at Norway’s Svartisen Subglacial Laboratory, which is one of the only places in the world where there is a tunnel under the glacier with access to the glacier bed. Our scholarship will allow Alexandra to undertake a controlled experiment where a large quantity of water is suddenly forced into a subglacial system. Her work forms part of a wider Nordic collaboration (SVALI) in the field of glaciology.
Stephanie is in her first year of Doctoral Studies at Oxford after having completed her earlier studies in Copenhagen as well as having worked as a full time teacher and scientist in a pharmaceutical company. Her project focuses on understanding the molecular cause of HDS10-Deficiency, an inherited neurodegenerative disease characterised by progressive loss of motor and mental skills. The protein behind HDS10-deficiency is also postulated to play a role in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, MS and Down’s Syndrome. New therapeutic approaches are urgently required to replace largely ineffective diet-based treatments. The Structural Genomics Consortium where Stephanie is working is at the forefront of research into understanding the linkage between genetic defects and diseases caused by inborn errors of metabolism.