Manchester success at international undergraduate awards


Siddharth Krishnan won the Life Sciences category of the Undergraduate Awards, an international academic awards programme that identifies leading creative thinkers through their undergraduate coursework.

In addition Jacob Brunner, School of Environment, Education and Development, Harish Kathiresan, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Eliot Haworth, Faculty of Life Sciences, Bethany Haworth, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, and Ella Szklaruk, School of Law, were highly commended.

The University’s learning through research project, which aims to develop the integration of teaching and research throughout the curriculum, had promoted the awards to students. 4,792 papers were submitted by 206 Universities across 27 countries.

Siddharth, who is studying Pharmacology with Industrial Experience at the Faculty of Life Sciences, entered his work at the Mayo Clinic in Florida, US, to characterise a novel gene linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

He said: “I gained a lot of great experience at my placement as the Mayo Clinic has a hospital, education wing and research centre all on the same site, so I was able to work with researchers and patients for my genetic studies.

“This gave me a lot of confidence, as it meant I had good research experience already. It also helped me get on to my PhD in Neuroscience and I had a strong submission to the awards. Still, I was surprised and delighted to win!”

The Learning through Research programme teaches our undergraduate students about their subject by having them look at – or do – research. This not only enhances their learning experience, it improves their employability by increasing the scope of their studies and skills base.

This has seen linguistics students handling major media coverage after using YouTube and the Beckhams to answer dynamic new questions about language change under Dr Laurel MacKenzie; meteorology students help create a weather app under Professor David Schultz; and students of Italian medieval literature holding history in their hands as they use the John Rylands Library’s remarkable collection of 15th century books with Dr Guyda Armstrong.

Kersti Börjars, Professor of Linguistics and Associate Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students at the University, said: “The learning through research project aims to recognise, reward and develop the integration of teaching and research throughout the curriculum, right from the first year of study. This excellent result is evidence that there is already some excellent work going on across the University.”

The Undergraduate Awards will be presented at the Global Summit on 19 to 21 November in Dublin. Find out more at the Undergraduate Awards website.