Fylde student scoops top prize in contest

Natalie Theodoulou receiving her award from Andrew Miller MP, chair of the Parliamentary & Scientific Committee
Natalie Theodoulou receiving her award from Andrew Miller MP, chair of the Parliamentary & Scientific Committee
  • Former Fylde coast student has won a prestigious national award
  • Natalie Theodoulou, 25, claimed a silver medal and £2,000
  • Natalie was one of three big winners in the chemistry session of the SET for Britain competition at Parliament

A former Fylde coast student and Oxford University graduate has won a prestigious national award.

Natalie Theodoulou, 25, claimed a silver medal and £2,000 for her poster on research carried out at the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

It’s really exciting, especially because I’m still a PhD student and I’m still learning

The former St Bede’s Catholic High School student joined GSK as an Industrial PhD student, in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde.

Natalie said: “It’s really exciting, especially because I’m still a PhD student and I’m still learning.”

The 25-year-old was brought up in Freckleton, and her family still live there.

Natalie was one of three big winners in the chemistry session of the SET for Britain competition at Parliament.

The SET for Britain poster competition and exhibition in the House of Commons started in 1997. It encourages, supports and promotes Britain’s early-stage and early-career research scientists.

Contestants were asked to present posters summarising their work in the chemical sciences to MPs and a jury of experts in the field.

Professor Helen Fielding, from the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: “As a member of the chemistry judging panel, it has been inspirational to see so many excellent posters from the finalists.

“Chemistry is crucial to society, playing an important role in energy, health, food, and tackling climate change.”

Natalie was one of 30 finalists who were shortlisted from hundreds of entries received earlier in the year.

Natalie added: “It’s fantastic to present to so many people, and it has given me a lot of confidence for my PhD studies going forward and in applying for conferences in the future.”

Andrew Miller MP, chairman of the Parliamentary Science and Technology Select Committee, said the future of science was in safe hands.

Mr Miller said: “This competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers.”