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Keswick School students undertake university level research
14th November 2014

Lauren Bamber, Emily Pratt, Matthew Harper and Olivia Leslie from Keswick School have been awarded a Gilbert Smithson Adair bursary to support their personal research in the fields of biology and environmental studies. These bursaries are awarded to promote scientific research beyond the bounds of traditional A-level subjects.

The Gilbert Smithson Adair bursary is an annual award set up to promote scientific research, innovation and entrepreneurial solutions to issues in the fields of biology and environmental studies. It provides financial support to help students undertake an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) which goes well beyond the scope of traditional A-level studies.

The bursary was established by the Gilbert Smithson Adair Trust in memory of Gilbert Adair and reflects his interests as he grew up in Cumbria in the early 1900s. Gilbert Adair went on to study Natural Sciences at King’s College, Cambridge, where he later became a fellow.

The recipients of the Gilbert Smithson Adair bursary this year are Lauren Bamber, Emily Pratt, Matthew Harper and Olivia Leslie. Lauren’s research is to analyse the causes and consequences of deforestation in the Mahajanga province of Madagascar. Part of the bursary will be used to fund some survey work in Madagascar in order to collect primary data. Emily’s research title is ‘To what extent is elite sporting success determined by genetic or environmental factors?’ She intends to use the bursary to fund some professional fitness testing at the University of Loughborough.

Matthew has decided to undertake research in the field of medical ethics. He is asking the question ‘How far are the medical ethics laid down in the Hippocratic Oath relevant in modern medical science?’ Olivia is undertaking her research in the currently hotly debated area of cancer treatment, asking the question ‘How effective is proton beam therapy compared with other cancer treatments?’

Simon Jackson, the Head teacher, said:

‘Given the right encouragement secondary school students can produce remarkably sophisticated work that rivals many university dissertations. This fits well with the ethos of Keswick School where we constantly look to promote exceptional performance in all areas. The Gilbert Smithson Adair Trust has the same philosophy. Their support, through these bursaries, will help current and future generations of students develop the deep rooted excitement in learning that will also be an inspiration to others.’