IRDG Chalmers and Dent Student Travel Award

The Chalmers and Dent Student Travel Award has been established to recognise and support an outstanding PhD student through financial support to present their research to an international audience at the annual SciX meeting. The award is named after two previous chairs of the IRDG, John Chalmers and Geoff Dent, in recognition of their continuing support for the IRDG and in particular for their support of students and early career researchers. Throughout their careers, both John and Geoff have been highly active in the development and promotion of the vibrational spectroscopists of the future in both academia and industry through mentoring, encouragement and inspiration.

2020 Recipient

Michelle Bailey, University of Exeter

Michelle completed her MPhys undergraduate master’s degree at the University of Exeter in 2017, with research in Biophysics and a year studying at the University of Sydney. In 2017 Michelle started her PhD in Biophysics at the University of Exeter under the supervision of Prof Francesca Palombo and Prof Nick Stone in the BioSpec group. Her PhD project is focused on developing Brillouin imaging instrumentation based on novel VIPA techniques and its application to oesophageal cancer screening and diagnosis through the measurement of mechanical properties. Currently in the third year of her PhD, Michelle’s research so far has used gelatin hydrogels as tissue phantoms to elucidate the significance of Brillouin signals in biological matter, as well as applying correlative approaches to improve specificity and accuracy. She has published two papers on this work. During her PhD, Michelle has been awarded funding (STSM within the COST Action “BioBrillouin”) for two research visits to the University of Perugia (February 2018 and March 2019) and has presented outputs from this work at three international conferences, winning the Best Poster prize at the 2nd BioBrillouin conference in 2018. Michelle was part of the organising committee for the college PGR conference at the University of Exeter in 2019 and has participated annually in outreach events for the International Day of Light.


This student award will enable an outstanding student to attend and present their research in the area of vibrational spectroscopy in one the IRDG sessions at the SciX conference.


  1. This is an annual IRDG award which will be presented to an outstanding PhD student to allow them to attend and present their research on vibrational spectroscopy at the SciX conference.
  2. The IRDG Chalmers & Dent award will consist of a guaranteed oral presentation in an IRDG organised SciX session, free registration and £500 towards travel to attend the conference.
  3. The student awardee must be a member of the IRDG on January 1 of the year of the award and still be a registered PhD student at the time of the SciX presentation.
  4. The student must be carrying out research in the area of vibrational spectroscopy.
  5. Applicants must submit a copy of the conference abstract that they would submit to SciX, their CV and a supporting statement (no more than one side of A4 paper) outlining their achievements and why the attendance at SciX would benefit them.
  6. The deadline for applications is generally March 31; applications should be sent to

Past Recipients

2019 Elizabeth Legge

2018 Anastasia Kapara

2017 Rachael Cameron

2016 Carl Mensch

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