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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Sarah Barron, a PhD student in our Bioelectronic Systems Technology research group, has been awarded the Vice Chancellor's Social Impact Award for her contribution to scientific outreach, education and communication.

The Vice-Chancellor's Social Impact (VCSI) awards recognise the achievement of outstanding students of the University of Cambridge, who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to improving society and the wider world.

"Being recognised and nominated for VCSI award was extremely flattering and I am grateful that I can pursue my love for creativity, writing and mentoring alongside my research," said Sarah. "As someone from an underrepresented background (low-income, first generation to study A levels and have learning disabilities). I am particularly passionate about increasing the presence of women and diversity in STEM and giving others the opportunity to learn in an accessible way, irrespective of their background, learning style or income.

"Since starting my PhD in 2019 CEB has really helped in giving me training and opportunities to pursue my passion for scicomms and outreach in many different ways. As part of the CEB outreach team, I have had the opportunity to write for and edit our termly magazine, create promotional videos and teach interactive educational content for Cambridge Science Festival and STEMtastic. I am also a contributor to a public educational series in local state schools and have had the honour of being invited to be a judge and panel member for a variety of programmes aimed at increasing participation in CEB/ STEM- the young students are truly inspiring and motivate me to give back! This award has really encouraged me to take my ideas to the next level and I welcome any collaborations and ideas from my colleagues in CEB who are interested in outreach" Sarah added. She highlighted how inspired, motivated, and grateful she was, and praised her colleagues and "amazing supervisor" Professor Roisin Owens.

The awards are run in collaboration with Cambridge Hub, a student-led group that offers practical volunteering, skilled placements, project incubation and events to help tackle social problems. Read more about Sarah's VSCI award.