Hello Laidlaw!

My name is Ruby Palin. I am currently a first-year undergraduate student at Durham University studying Bsc Biological Sciences. This is an introduction post to tell you a little more about me!

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Like the first step an explorer makes at the base of a mountain, I have accomplished the first step of my Laidlaw journey - successfully joining the program. Spending hours meticulously drafting and editing my application; synthesising a convincing research proposal; and preparing for an interview with the Laidlaw panel were the first few steps to make it to basecamp and now, much like an explorer apprehensively waiting to start their ascent up the mountain, I am pondering what lies ahead before admiring the view from the summit.

Instead of feeling apprehensive about the future I feel fuelled and excited by the opportunity to be stretched outside of my comfort zone, both in my research project and my LIA project. Along the way I hope that I can 'hold the elevator door' on my way up and act as a mentor to those applying to join the program (although, sadly, I'm pretty sure mountains don't have elevators at the moment). 

So, what motivated me to join the Laidlaw Program? Here's an exert from my application...

 "During my first lecture at University, I sat attentive and ready to begin an exciting journey of academic development when I read this captivating quote: “The known is finite, the unknown is infinite; intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of inexplicability…our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land” –Thomas Henry Huxley, Evolutionary biologist. Immediately, I began to examine every aspect of my studies and allow it to be inspired by this quote – how can I explore the unknown and create a meaningful change? Upon discovering the Laidlaw Scholarship Programme, I delved into the blog posts from the community of Laidlaw scholars, and I instantly knew that I needed to grasp this opportunity to nurture my unwavering enthusiasm and passion for biology and meet like-minded, motivated young leaders of tomorrow.  The opportunity to refine and develop my leadership skills in an immersive environment will enable me to strive towards being part of a generation of innovators who are trying to “reclaim a little more land” in order to make meaningful, sustainable change."

Alongside my studies, I have a variety of hobbies and interests which keep me busy, including:

  • Mountain biking with my Mum and her friends - This may be controversial...but we love the challenge of a nice, steep hill!
  • Mixed Lacrosse - This is a sport that I have taken up recently! I love spending time outside and having fun with my team mates.
  • Cooking and baking - I really enjoy spending time in the kitchen and making food for friends/family. My favourite recipes are a Coconut-Chickpea Dal and Key lime pie!

So, I hope this post gives you a little more information about me, my Laidlaw journey so far and my interests.

All the best,

Ruby :)

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Go to the profile of Nikol Chen
about 2 years ago

Hi Ruby, congratulations on becoming a scholar and best of luck with your research! What are you most excited about for this summer? :)