IT Sligo PhD Researcher in the Faculty of Science, Priyanka Ganguly, receives a prestigious chemistry “Postgraduate Award 2020” from the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland (ICI).
The ICI award is given to PhD students in any Chemistry discipline working in an Irish Higher Education Institution.
“Receiving this award is encouraging and motivating. Sometimes you don’t realise the importance and the impact of your work until it’s recognised”, Ganguly says.
Science is For Everyone
To receive the award, participants must demonstrate excellence in research through publications and commit to supporting and promoting Chemistry through active participation in public engagement initiatives. Ganguly has been part of educational programmes since 2017 when she started her journey in IT Sligo.
She has been a volunteer for the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Spectroscopy in a Suitcase programme, which gives school students the chance to learn about spectroscopy through hands-on experience.
For this young researcher, it was the opportunity to travel to various schools in Ireland and to reach out to young people, especially women, in her quest to contribute to solving gender imbalance in education.
“Young girls might think that science is not meant for them, but when they see the experiments, do them, and see the results, they get more interested in science.”
Ganguly believes that Northwest of Ireland offers plenty of expertise, quality of services, activities and events regarding education. On that note, she praises Open Day, Science Festival and Science Week at IT Sligo.
“Some people fail to realise the quality of science that IT Sligo teaches at the campus and the quality of lecturers IT Sligo have”.
Choosing a Career
A decision to study chemistry and become a scientist should come from a heart, Ganguly says.
“A good teacher or a mentor plays a pivotal role in one’s education. Don’t think something isn’t for you just because your test score says so. I didn’t score the highest in chemistry in my school. I was better at maths, yet I chose chemistry because I liked it. Sometimes you have to listen to your gut feeling”, she says.
In five to ten years, Ganguly wants to be in an academic position while also leading a group of researchers to give back the support her mentors gave her throughout her research career.
IT Sligo Professor Suresh C. Pillai and Lecturer Dr Ailish Breen supervised and supported Ganguly’s research work that led her to the ICI award.
Priyanka Ganguly is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Glasgow in nanoelectronics and robotics. She shares this year’s award with UCD PhD researcher Conor Crawford.
She is an author of more than 25 articles, drawing more than 800 citations.
View her research profile HERE.