2008 Goldwater Scholar & 2009 NIH-OX-Cam Scholar
Brad was named a Goldwater Scholar in his junior year as a College Scholars-Structural Chemistry major at UT. A first generation college student, he was actively involved in research since his sophomore year. He spent the summer before his senior year in the U.K. conducting research under his former advisor at UT, Dr. John Turner, and will return to England after graduation to pursue a graduate degree.
Brad wasa finalist for the Gates-Cambridge Scholarship in 2009. He was named a 2009 NIH-Oxford-Cambridge Scholar and will be pursuing his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Cambridge University beginning in the fall of 2009.
Brad describes his Goldwater experience and offers advice for future applicants...
"I first learned of the Goldwater Scholarship as a sophomore at UT; I attended an information session offered by the university which described the purpose of the scholarship and its special emphasis on research and research potential. Having only begun undergraduate research in the Department of Chemistry a couple of months prior, I decided not to apply that fall. I wanted to wait until I had some significant research experience behind me and had demonstrated the potential that seemed so important to the Goldwater committee.
While waiting did potentially mean passing up an additional year of funding from the Goldwater, I believe that it gave my application a competitive advantage. When it came time to apply for the scholarship the following fall, I had no problem finding referees that could comment on work I had done and problems I had addressed both as a student and as a scientist. I was able to discuss my current research efforts in the scholarship essay, and having familiarity with the field greatly helped in presenting the scientific problem, its importance, and viable approaches to its resolution. The extra year of coursework and the dreaded lab reports also made drafting what is effectively a scientific proposal much easier.
Ultimately, I think that beginning a serious and involved experience in undergraduate research is the best first step toward a successful application for the Goldwater. The committee is looking for students who will lead scientific and technical development in this country. Committing to serious research as an undergraduate student proves that one can and will generate significant research in either an academic or professional career."