Support for the University

We all thoroughly enjoy the excellent programme of events each year, and profit from the friendships/ networking generated through our meetings. Because this is our main aim, we set our subscription and event costs to ensure we at least cover our outgoings, though this can generate a small profit from time to time.

When this profit accumulates to a reasonable amount, we feel we can afford to make a donation to the University, as a small return for all we have gained due to our time there. Previous donations have included a donation of £2000 to the University Cardiovascular foundation in 2011. We also presented a cheque for £2000 to the University, to fund a scholarship for a talented student who might not otherwise be able to study at university, at an alumni function in Dulwich Picture Gallery in November 2013.

We have recently received the following letter from the scholarship student, :-

Dear Members of the GU Women’s Club London,

GU Women’s Club London Talent Scholarship

I want to begin by thanking you all for your incredible generosity over the course of my studies. My family and I greatly appreciate your support in establishing the Talent Scholarship which has supported me.

I have just finished my third year at the University of Glasgow studying parasitology. Third year consisted of medical microbiology which introduced a range of infectious agents, their pathogenesis and interactions with the immune system including chemotherapy and alternative methods to treat and prevent infections.

This past year has been a big year for me at the University as I am now one of four students transferred onto the masters program. This involves an intercalated work placement year between third and fourth year allowing me to gain valuable laboratory experience before finishing my undergraduate degree. I will be doing my work placement at the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh working on Malaria research. This placement will also involve field work in the Gambia from January 2018 which is an incredible opportunity. I hope that this placement will help me in the future in attaining a PhD and then onto further research within parasitology and tropical medicine.

This summer I have been invited back to the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology for a research internship. I will be working with the same PhD student investigating antigenic variation in the African parasite trypanosoma brucei. This parasite causes African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) which has devastating effects in African populations now considered a neglected tropical disease. I have also been awarded the Medical Research Scotland Vacation Scholarship which will help fund my internship for two months.

I continue to play piano with the aim of broadening my repertoire. My piano teachers are still incredibly supportive offering many free lessons to help improve my playing as well as providing an electronic keyboard for when I am in Glasgow. I enjoy going home regularly to spend time with my family especially at the beach which gives a refreshing change of scenery.

Once again, I want to thank you for your kindness and goodwill. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities this scholarship has made available to me and what they may lead to in the future.

Yours sincerely,

The student also sent us a letter last year –

Dear Members of the GU Women’s Club London,

GU Women’s Club London Talent Scholarship

I would like to express how grateful I am for your support to the Talent Scholarship. I am thoroughly enjoying my course and I am excited to see where it may lead me. With your support I am able to gain work experience that could benefit me greatly in the future.

I have now come to the end of my second year studying Molecular and Cellular biology. This year I have studied a range of subjects within biology and have found a particular interest in parasitology.

I have been very lucky this year in gaining valuable work experience over the summer. I have been awarded the Santander Summer School Scholarship to fund the tuition fees for a summer school on Vaccinology at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. This is a week long course focussed on vaccinations, immunology and vaccine safety delivered by a number of international lecturers.

After the summer school I will be spending six weeks in Glasgow working on a research project based at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology. I will be working alongside two others to find the genetic basis of antigenic variation in trypanosomes. This is a parasite I am particularly interested in, especially with regards to antigenic variation as I know this is why we cannot produce a suitable vaccine. I am hugely excited about this opportunity as not only would it be great to have practical experience in molecular techniques but it will hopefully enlighten me into what a future in research might entail. This is a voluntary position and so the Talent Scholarship will support me through the 6 week period in Glasgow.

Outside of my studies I have been able to continue playing piano. Since moving into a new flat I am now close to the Mitchell Library which has many pianos I can play. I have also had a number of chances to play a Steinway which is something I have wanted to do for many years. This has helped me start to overcome my issues in playing in front of people as the Steinway is in a church which is open to the public.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your generosity. With the scholarship I am able to be involved in a voluntary project which I would otherwise not be able to partake in. I greatly appreciate your goodwill and I am truly thankful for the opportunities that the scholarship has made available to me.

And the year before –

Dear Members of the GU Women’s Club London,

GU Women’s Club London Talent Scholarship

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your generous contribution to the Talent Scholarship which has helped fund my first year at the University of Glasgow. I am incredibly grateful for your support & goodwill.

I am an undergraduate student studying Molecular and Cellular Biology with the aim to pursue a career in medical or biological research. I grew up in a very rural area and so the move to Glasgow has been quite challenging but eye opening. Glasgow is a friendly city which is one of the reasons I chose to study here, along with the many research opportunities offered by the University. I have found the biology course very interesting so far, so much so that I am considering extending my course to include an integrated work placement year. I understand that this is highly competitive as you would be representing the University, but I am determined to do well in my first three years in order to give me the best chance of achieving this.

The scholarship has helped fund numerous expensive books as well as helping pay rent this year and allowing me to secure a flat for next year by assisting with the deposit. I will be paying rent for this flat from July onwards, as this is a couple of months before the start of the new term, the money you have provided will help pay for this. I am also looking for a summer job as I do not want my parents to have to help pay my rent. Most importantly, the scholarship has allowed me to be independent and not rely on my family, as well as relieving some of the stress that comes with being away from home for the first time.

Outside of University, my main hobby is music. I am very dedicated to music and have achieved ABRSM grade 6 in bassoon and ABRSM grade 8 in piano. In the past I have been involved in many residential orchestral courses near Edinburgh and at St Andrews University. I have been able to continue to play piano with the support from my music teachers who have provided a keyboard along with many other accessories allowing me to practice regularly. I am very keen to develop my techniques and repertoire so I could hopefully gain a dipABRSM (Diploma of The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) in either musical performance or teaching in the future.

I just want to thank you again for your kindness, You have helped support me throughout this year and for that, my family and I are truly grateful.

Yours sincerely,