Charlotte Mellor wins BACR Student Impact Award 2023
Charlotte Mellor, PhD student from the Division of Cancer Sciences at The University of Manchester has been awarded the British Association for Cancer Research (BACR) 2023 BACR Student Impact Award.
Charlotte received the Student Impact Award based on the strength of her engagement work with local students from working class backgrounds and her approach to sustainability, peer support and teaching inside and outside the laboratory.
Throughout her PhD, Charlotte has undertaken multiple engagement opportunities:
- Charlotte is a tutor in the Manchester Access Programme which helps prepare Year 12 students for university. Charlotte supported students in writing academic assignments on biology-based topics, which she then marked and gave feedback on.
- In 2022 and 2023 she helped to organise the MCRC-DCS Postgraduate Research Showcases and supports the MCRC team at various outreach events.
- Finally, Charlotte is a University of Manchester Widening Participation Fellow and has designed and run workshops both on campus and in schools across Greater Manchester focusing on scientific investigation skills, apoptosis and mitochondria, as well as career and study sessions.
It's an absolute honour to have been given the BACR Student Impact Award because it shows me that professional associations want to champion widening participation and outreach work. Outreach and widening participation activities are so important because they can literally change lives - all it takes is one person seeing an opportunity they didn't know was available to them and it can motivate them to consider a whole new path for their future.
PhD Student supervised by Dr Andrew Gilmore
Speaking about receiving the award, Charlotte said: “It’s an absolute honour to have been given the BACR Student Impact Award because it shows me that professional associations want to champion widening participation and outreach work.”
“Some advice I’d give is to make sure you surround yourself with a good support network, both professionally and personally – good workplace mentors and colleagues are important, but so are friends and family who will pick you up when you’re struggling!
“Outreach and widening participation activities are so important because they can literally change lives – all it takes is one person seeing an opportunity they didn’t know was available to them and it can motivate them to consider a whole new path for their future.”
Charlotte’s PhD is supervised by Dr Andrew Gilmore and focuses on finding out how Bcl-2 family interactions govern apoptic priming. Her PhD is made possible by funding provided through the Cancer Research UK Manchester Centre.
Being a scientist was never on Charlotte’s radar as a career option, but it was at school when she soon realised that her interests lay in science. Her passion now is to engage and encourage children of similar backgrounds to get involved in science.
Professor Val Speirs, BACR Hon Secretary said “Charlotte is a worthy winner of the 2023 award. The committee was impressed by her outreach activities which will help others realise that they too can follow her path.”
Charlotte has written a blog detailing her research journey thus far which has now been published on the BACR website.
About The BACR Student Impact Award
The BACR Student Impact Award is presented to a well-rounded PhD student who can demonstrate success in citizenship in addition to research achievements.
Citizenship activities might include:
- Science communication / public engagement
- Helping and/or developing student-led activities in your research centre
- Peer support by acting as a PhD mentor/buddy
- Supervising Hons/Masters students
- Committee membership
About The British Association for Cancer Research (BACR)
BACR was founded in 1960 and is a professional membership association for all those working and studying in cancer research within the United Kingdom and Beyond. It provides educational and training opportunities for professionals in the cancer field, the next generation of cancer researchers in particular.
BACR organises scientific conferences, workshops and offers bursaries and fellowships to enable the members to attend cancer-focused events around the world, a list of which can be found on its website.