“I am honoured to have received this prestigious scholarship and I am looking forward to embracing all the opportunities that come my way.”
Women are less than a quarter (24.9%) of the overall nuclear sector workforce in NEA countries and only one-fifth (20.6%) of STEM roles in the nuclear sector are held by women. Furthermore, women represent only 18.3% of senior leadership. [OECD report. March 2023]
Grace told us “the International Atomic Energy Agency aims to increase the number of women in the nuclear field to support an inclusive workforce and drive global scientific and technological innovation for peace, health and prosperity throughout the world.”
After she left Trent, Grace earned a First-Class Honours Degree in Physics from Nottingham Trent University, having been awarded two research scholarships for academic excellence in her first two years. After graduation, Grace took a break from education whilst she considered her post graduate options. Taking a job as an executive assistant and project lead working for an entrepreneur, Grace gained experienced across several sectors including healthcare, hospitality, and property investment, developing invaluable project management skills.
Work experience is a vital component in building knowledge and skills to help inform future career pathway decisions and, before Grace decided to return to education, she was proactive in finding opportunities to help inform what her next steps would be including work experience days at the Nottingham’s University Hospital, The Queen’s Medical Centre.
“As much as I loved my time working in business, I missed education and research. My time working in the healthcare industry strengthened my interest in medicine”.
Grace explains “Driven by my curiosity during undergraduate research, I came across applications of LFDs (lateral flow devices) used in space medicine and the effects of gravity and radiation on humans. I found this really interesting, and it led me to apply for my current Masters Degree at the University of Oxford, where I am now studying Medical Physics and Radiobiology”.
Grace is currently learning about the effects of radiation on human tissue and its applications in improving the treatment of cancer, at the UK Institute of Cancer Research.
Receiving the Fellowship, and the full scholarship, is a great accolade for Grace. As well as aiming to increase the number of women working in the nuclear energy field, the Fellowship offers many opportunities, including attending international conferences and providing a funded international internship, which Grace can undertake upon completion of her degree.
“Since starting at Oxford, so many opportunities have been made available to me both academically and extra-curricular and I have fully embraced College life. I have taken on various roles, such as student representative, sports and societies’ representative, and I am Oxford Netball Captain. These experiences have enriched my academic journey and provided me with numerous networking prospects. “
Reflecting on her time at Trent College, Grace says “I would like to recognise the positive influence of my teachers at Trent College, including Mr Morgan (Physics), Miss Good (now Mrs Finlay) (Biology), Ms Berry (Maths), Mrs Walker (French), Ms Gleeson and Mr Shorland (English), my tutor Dr Hansard and my Headmaster Mr Penty. I feel that they always believed in my success, even when I doubted myself.”
Looking to her future Grace has several paths she is considering, including various PhD opportunities with institutions such as Oxford, MIT and Harvard, some of which will enable her to combine her thirst for study and research with travel. She is also keen to explore further work experience and entrepreneurial business ventures.