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Idil Ismail awarded Iota Sigma Pi #BlackinChem Travel Award

Idil Ismail awarded Iota Sigma Pi #BlackinChem Travel Award

#BlackInChem was founded in 2020 and since its inception has worked hard to connect Black chemists in the US and Europe, and catalysed a conversation regarding the need for greater representation of Black chemists.

Iota Sigma Pi serves to promote the advancement of women in chemistry and it’s major objectives are to promote interest in chemistry amongst women students, foster mutual advancement in academic, business and social life and to stimulate personal accomplishments for women in the field.

For the second year, Iota Sigma Pi has participated in #BlackinChem week by awarding a $500 travel award to a woman graduate student. We are delighted to announce that this year’s awardee is Idil Ismail, a current third-year HetSys PhD student.

Idil says: "I would like to thank the Iota Sigma Pi organization for sponsoring this award; I'm honoured to have been selected.

Currently, I'm finishing up my second year of PhD work in Computational Chemistry at the University of Warwick, UK, where I work primarily on developing new computational methods to accelerate the prediction and characterization of complex, multi-step chemical reactions. This is an exciting area of research as it is very multidisciplinary in nature, where I utilise physics, computer science, and mathematics to study complex chemical systems.

However, I wasn't always interested in the theoretical/physical sciences. I started my career journey as a life sciences student, where I earned my bachelor honours degree in Biochemistry. It was at some point in my second year that I realized that I had more of an affinity for the physical sciences and so started researching graduate programs willing to accept a biology student. Here in the UK, we are very much restricted to studying modules in our degree programs, and so I couldn't take classes in chemistry or physics to explore my interests.

Regarding career goals, I hope to pursue a career in academia and would look to apply for post-doctoral positions once I complete my PhD."

When asked if she would travel to a conference, she replied, “I would love to attend one of the upcoming ACS conference meetings, although as you know, the current pandemic situation has made it difficult to travel. I am currently exploring my options and hope that I can use this award to allow me to attend a conference in the near future.”

The award also included a free one-year membership in Iota Sigma Pi. Idil commented, “Thank you for the society membership; I am glad to join such a wonderful and supportive community with a really powerful mission statement.”

Fri 14 Jan 2022, 11:05