In Summer 2006, Anna was offered the chance to take up a Nuffield bursary and work on a project for four weeks over the summer holidays. She chose a project entitled 'Absorptions of Ions: Investigation into the Removal of Chromium Ions from Water'. During her project, she designed and tested an experiment to monitor the absorption of chromium ions from water. Chromium is a harmful pollutant which can often be found in water as a result of many industrial processes. Therefore, designing an effective way to remove it would be of great benefit to the environment.
Talking about her bursary experience, Anna said:
"Taking part in the project was a wonderful experience and was an amazing opportunity from the Nuffield Foundation. I was able to experience research first hand, and as a result it has now become an area I am very much interested in as a future career. Before I started my project, my knowledge of this particular area of chemistry was very basic, however the practical aspects of the research sparked my interest in the theory, and it allowed me to experience learning at a higher level than I was able to in my A-level studies. The most exciting aspect of the project was being able to work with scientists at the forefront of current research as part of their team, something not many 6th Form students have the opportunity to experience!"
Anna was encouraged to enter her project into the British Science Association Crest Awards in London, giving her the opportunity to see other projects presented by young people from across the country, many also as a result of a Nuffield Bursary. She said:
"I was amazed to be awarded a prize to represent the UK in the 2007 European Union Contest for Young Scientists, which was held in Valencia. For the weeks running up to the Contest, and during my time there, I was also chosen to take part in a TV Programme aimed to promote science to youngsters entitled ‘Amazing Minds’, which featured four other contestants from around Europe!"
After taking a gap year, Anna is now studying Medicine at the University of Sheffield. Talking about her future career she says:
"I loved all the subjects I studied at college: English Literature, Mathematics, Biology and Chemistry. If anyone had asked me which one I preferred, I wouldn’t have been able to give them an answer. Taking part in a bursary project really helped me to make up my mind.
"Now, I am excited by all areas of Medicine, and so am still unsure about my future career, however as a result of my experiences am now very interested in working within Medical Research. The Nuffield Bursary, in providing me with my initial project opened so many doors for me - the chance to present it in London, the opportunity to represent my country in Valencia, and even have my own TV Crew follow me around for a few days! I cannot thank the Nuffield Foundation enough!"