February 25, 2020, by Ruth Musson

Kesteven WVS Travelling Scholarship

PhD Student Georgina Barratt talks about her funded trip to Brussels

The School of Biosciences offers a limited number of scholarships for graduates attending conferences and courses abroad. This year PhD crop science student Georgina Barratt received the Kesteven WVS Travel Scholarship to attend the 77th International Institute of Sugar Beet Research (IIRB) conference in Brussels (10th-12th February 2020). In this blog, Georgina shares information about her experience at the conference.

What was the conference about?

The IIRB conference is a biennial event held this year in Brussels with an attendance of 270 delegates from around the world. The event covers all aspects of sugar beet production and agronomy, and this years’ focus  was on sugar beet in a changing climate. There were sessions on maximising sugar beet establishment, maximising performance, growing sugar beet post neonicotinoids, controlling leaf diseases, breeding for future challenges, use of tools and technologies, and an open session that covered soil management and storage of sugar beet.

What was your presentation about?

I was selected to present in the session on maximising sugar beet performance under climate change as my research focuses on improving the water use efficiency of the crop. It was a great opportunity to present my work to eminent sugar beet scientists and commercial breeders. After my presentation, I received a lot of positive feedback and I was approached by a leading plant breeding company interested in collaborating on further research. They have since invited me to their facilities in Germany to discuss a potential project. This could be a great opportunity for me post PhD and I look forward to this trip in the summer.

What was did you get out of attending?

Overall, my attendance at IIRB has enabled me to network with people from across the sugar beet industry and from different countries. This has raised my profile within the international sugar beet research community. I have also gained confidence in presenting to a large, multinational audience, which required me to adapt my presentation style by ensuring I spoke more slowly and avoided overly technical words.

I would like to thank the Kesteven Scholarship for funding my attendance as it has certainly helped me gain useful contacts and further develop ideas for potential research after my PhD.

About the Kesteven Scholarship

The Kesteven WVS scholarship is an annual travel scholarship (up to £600) open to graduates pursuing agricultural studies in the School of Biosciences. Graduates from Kesteven (Lincolnshire) are given preference. Email biosciences-research@nottingham.ac.uk

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