10th June 2021 - Flipbook - Page 39
JULY 22 2021
Harper Adams graduates share
advice with students in webinar
RADUATES from Harper Adams
University involved in cutting-edge
research into animal and human
health have shared their advice and
experiences with current students at
Georgina Charnley, a PhD student in
the Department of Infectious Disease
Epidemiology at Imperial College London,
and Rebecca McLean, a postdoctoral project
manager at The Pirbright Institute, were
among those who shared their experiences in
a webinar hosted by the university.
Both researchers studied for a BSc (Hons)
in Bioveterinary Science at Harper Adams,
and are now applying their studies to their
Georgina – originally from Lancashire – is
working on PhD research which examines how
cholera outbreaks link to humanitarian crises
Her work examines how natural hazards
and conﬂicts can result in infectious disease
outbreaks – and the changing factors across
the globe which may alter this.
She said: “In the webinar we discussed our
career progression since leaving Harper, the
challenges we have faced, where we went on
placement, our advice for students trying to
compete their degree during a pandemic and
how our degree and time at Harper prepared
and helped us in our career.”
Having begun her studies at Harper Adams
because of her interest in animal medicine and
health – but not wishing to become a vet – she
was keen for those following in her footsteps
to understand that their studies could help
n Rebecca McLean, a postdoctoral project
manager at The Pirbright Institute.
n Georgina Charnley, a PhD student in
the Department of Infectious Disease
Epidemiology at Imperial College London.
them build valuable skills which could then be
used as a platform for further study or wider
She added: “I would say don’t worry if you
aren’t sure what you want to do, or if you are
on the exact right path, just make sure that
you study hard and try to get the best possible
grade you can.
“These transferable skills mean that you can
then switch to working in whatever ﬁeld you
want either by going into the role or through
Her fellow Bioveterinary Science alumna
Rebecca – originally from Reading – followed
her Harper Adams studies with ﬁrst a
PhD and then a postdoctoral job at The
Pirbright Institute, where she now works as
a postdoctoral project manager, running an
international consortium with the aim of
developing a vaccine against Nipah virus for
She echoed Georgina’s advice – and cited the
placement year that Harper Adams students
undertake as a key factor in inﬂuencing her
subsequent career development.
“My main motivation for choosing Harper
was the placement year as I thought that
would give me a clear insight into the jobs out
there and whether or not I was going to enjoy
Online project to enhance apprenticeships
S school leavers eagerly await
their results and consider their
future, a multitude of career
progression pathways is available to
them at their local further education
South West College (SWC), in
conjunction with the other ﬁve further
education colleges in Northern Ireland,
have collaborated to fully inform
prospective students of their options
by producing a package of resources
to promote and enhance the immense
range of apprenticeship schemes
available within NI.
Economy Minister Paul Frew launched
“Mentor Connect” last month.
It is supported by the NI Apprenticeship Challenge Fund through
the Department for the Economy and
was awarded funding of £85k.
Mentor Connect offers a range of
online materials for both employers
and apprentices which will strengthen
apprentices gain the maximum beneﬁt
from their experience.
Employers can access a free
online training module leading to a
recognition as an Apprenticeship
They can also explore an Employers’
Toolkit, which explains fully the NI
New and aspiring apprentices can
access an Apprentice Toolkit, which
provides them with the information
needed to secure an apprenticeship
job, to prepare them for joining the
workplace and to make the most of
their apprenticeship in order to build
a career in their chosen area.
Welcoming the development of
the Mentor Connect resources, the
Economy Minister commented: “Apprenticeships are a key part of
developing the skills of our workforce
in Northern Ireland, offering quality
training and career progression.
“The Mentor Connect product will
be a valuable tool to enhance the
apprenticeship programme and I
can see it will be of beneﬁt to both
employer and apprentice.
“These resources align with our
commitment to encouraging employers
to consider taking on an apprentice
and offer accessible information and
“I am impressed by the degree of
collaboration between different teams
in the six FE colleges in NI which has
produced such an impressive project.
“I am also pleased that funding
provided through the Apprenticeship
Challenge Fund helped with the
development and implementation of
this valuable initiative.”
Christopher Robinson, of South West
College, added: “SWC works with local
industry and business to support
apprenticeships across 25 separate
professional and technical areas.
“Apprenticeships are a fantastic
opportunity for employers to recruit
and develop talent and for young
people to gain high level training
and professional and technical
qualiﬁcations in their chosen career.
“Support from the Apprenticeship
Challenge Fund through the DfE
has enabled the colleges in NI to
collaborate effectively to provide a
range of resources under the umbrella
of Mentor Connect to support both
new and existing employers and
Local innovative company Scott
Ewing and Woodvale Construction are
among the many employers that work
collaboratively with SWC via workbased apprenticeship programmes.
Robert Ewing, Director of Scott
Ewing and Woodvale Construction,
said: “Apprenticeships are hailed
as the lifeblood within our business
and give young people the training
and qualiﬁcations they need to
help get ahead within their chosen
“Mentor Connect and its package of
resources will provide developmental
opportunities for both the employer
and the apprentice, helping enrich
the apprenticeship scheme whilst
supporting and developing the Northern Ireland Skills pipeline.”
n The Mentor Connect package of
resources is now live and can be
accessed, free of charge, via www.swc.
Rebecca was keen to emphasise to students
at the webinar that a research career would
involve both ups and downs – but also that
making the most of opportunities as they
present themselves can be vital.
She added: “Keep persevering! Setbacks
are inevitable but these things happen for a
reason and there is always something better
around the corner for you.
“Without my placement year at the Animal
Health Trust, I would never have been offered
my PhD position.
“My placement was an unpaid one, but
completely and utterly invaluable to my career
“Due to my passion in zoonotic diseases and
vaccines, I have carved a career path which
encompasses both of these things.
“My PhD focussed on the development of a
multivalent vaccine delivery system and for
proof of concept I developed a novel vaccine
against Chlamydia abortus, a zoonotic sheep
pathogen which can seriously harm – and
sometimes kill – pregnant women.
“My job at Pirbright followed a similar path
whereby I have been developing vaccines
against Nipah virus.
“This virus is spread from pigs to humans
and carries a 75-100 per cent mortality rate in
“Therefore the idea is to vaccinate the pigs,
to safeguard human health.
“This job put me in a very strong position
to help in the ﬁght against Covid-19 and since
March 2020 I have been leading a team that are
testing the most promising Coid-19 vaccines in
pigs to aid and guide the human trials.”
n Matthew Jones, Gouldings NI,
Joel Milligan, Collone YFC, and
Tony McIvor, Gouldings NI.
New YFCU arable
competition a success
YOUNG Farmers’ Clubs of
Ulster’s ﬁrst arable competition of the events calendar was a great success.
The new competition saw
17 YFC members across the
country take part to showcase
their crop growing skills and
The arable competition was
judged on winter barley
The competition consisted
of a series of county heats and
a day of judging for the ﬁnal.
The judges of the arable
competition meet the growers
on their farm.
The winter barley crops
were judged on the following
areas: potential yield, disease, weeds and lodging &
Congratulations to Joel
Milligan from Collone YFC
on winning ﬁrst place in the
arable competition ﬁnals.
David Caldwell, from Curragh YFC, was placed second
and Thomas Annett, from Spa
YFC, third. Victoria Minford,
from Holestone YFC, took
Commenting on the ara-ble
competition, Tony McIvor,
Goulding NI sales representative, said: “Firstly, all
crops viewed had the highest
yield potential I have seen
in many years, attention to
detail was excellent.
“Clearly, attention to crop
nutrition and rotation will
pay big dividends in 2021.
“We in Goulding NI Fertilisers would like to wish all
the ﬁnalists the best of luck in
their upcoming harvest.”
YFCU thanked sponsor Goulding NI for its support and
for judging the ﬁrst arable