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.

2021 Recipient

Matthew Berry, University of Strathclyde

Matthew graduated with a BSc Hons degree in Chemistry from the University in Glasgow in June 2018, where he was awarded the Lorimer Bursary for outstanding academic performance. During his final year he became particularly interested in research involving the application of spectroscopic techniques and nanotechnology to solve biological problems, and this influenced his decision to study for a PhD. In September 2018, he joined the OPTIMA Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) to begin a joint centre PhD programme in Optical Medical Imaging between the University of Strathclyde and the University of Edinburgh with an integrated masters in Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the University of Edinburgh Business School. He is currently working under the supervision of Professor Karen Faulds and Professor Duncan Graham in the Centre for Molecular Nanometrology at the University of Strathclyde, where he is researching the development of surface enhanced spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (SESORS) for optical medical imaging applications. Using SESORS, it is possible to non-invasively retrieve subsurface spectra that originate from highly specific biofunctional SERS active nanotags inside diffusely scattering media such as mammalian tissue. He is currently using this spectroscopic technique to image multiple bacteria simultaneously within 3D printed models through tissue via their specific interaction with SERS active nanotags using a handheld spectrometer and he is also investigating methods for the interpretation of the depth and position of nanotags within SESORS spectra and images. Overall, the goal of his PhD is to broaden the applications of SESORS imaging and gain a deeper understanding into the technique to bring it closer to use in a medical setting.


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

2020 Michelle Bailey

2019 Elizabeth Legge

2018 Anastasia Kapara

2017 Rachael Cameron

2016 Carl Mensch

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