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Frontiers in Size-Selected Cluster Research

Old Members’ Trust Graduate Conference and Academic Travel Fund Report – Philip Pearcy (2020, DPhil Theoretical and Physical Chemistry)

I applied for the following travel grant in order to allow me to attend the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) and Seminar (GRS) named “Frontiers in Size-Selected Cluster Research: Structure, Reactivity and Dynamics” and “Probing the Microscopic Structures and Dynamics of Molecular and Ionic Clusters” respectively. The conference was held close to Lucca in Tuscany, Italy. This conference was an international event, with speakers and attendees coming from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. This was the first time I have attended such a conference, making it a very useful experience as I was able to introduce myself to many of the leading figures in this field.

The event was split into two sections. The GRS (6th-7th August) was an event aimed for graduate and postgraduate students to show the work they have completed with others in similar positions to them. This involved student presentations on their work, a poster session, and a careers panel discussion. The GRS was very enjoyable as it allowed me to present the work I have done so far, including which molecular systems I had studied and the new experiments I am developing, during the poster session. After that, the main GRC event (7th-12th August) began. The conference consisted of many sessions being led by academics from across the whole breadth of the cluster community, in addition to some graduate and postgraduate students. Again, I presented my poster and was able to pick up insights from those who work in a similar field to myself. The whole event was relaxed and enjoyable. We also took part in group trips around the local area which were very fun. We have made good connections with other research groups and hope to be able to work closely with them in the future.

The conference had been due to take place in January 2022. However, due to the rising COVID cases due to the Omicron variant in Italy, it had to be postponed to August. We arrived in Italy on 5th August and departed on 15th August to reduce the cost of the flights. In order to attend the event, our group organised the conference fees through the main GRC website (2022 Molecular and Ionic Clusters (GRS) Seminar GRC). The cost of the flights and additional accommodation was organised through the chemistry finance department. Thanks to the Old Members’ Trust travel, I was able to pay part of the overall cost of the conference registration fee, the flights and additional accommodation. The fund was used in conjunction with funds provided by the chemistry department. I am very grateful for this and I pass my thanks to those who funded the grant.

Find out more about the range of travel grants and scholarships available to assist Univ students on our Travel Grants page or read further travel reports.

Published: 20 December 2022

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