William Nyss

Student, University of York
  • University of York
  • People
  • United Kingdom
It is only fitting that a leading university offers a prestigious course in leadership. The Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship at the University of York equips self-motivated and ambitious undergraduate students with the knowledge, skills and experience to become leaders in their chosen fields.
Mary Friend

Natural Sciences Student, University of York

4th year Natural Sciences MSci student at University of York specialising in neuroscience. I am fascinated by the brain and the connections within it, and enjoy combining my knowledge of chemistry, biology, psychology and philosophy to generate new ideas.

Lydia Rose Haines

Biology undergraduate, University of York

Hi, my name is Lydia Haines and I am a second year undergraduate student, studying biology, at the University of York. For my research project I looked at mutations in inflammasome components that are associated with Multiple Sclerosis. For my leadership in action project, I spent 6 weeks on a health promotion project in Jubairata village, Fiji with Think Pacific.

Pennie Haigh

Psychology Student , University of York

Josh Rutland

Undergraduate Student, University of York

I'm a third year Politics and IR student and 2021 Laidlaw Scholar at the University of York. My research topic focussed on political influence in public order policing in the UK. For my Leadership-in-Action, I am working with MakeSense on their 'Re_action For Climate' project, implementing community-level policies to address environmental degradation.

Andrew Hill

Student, University of York

I am studying BSc Archaeology at the University of York. My primary interests are working on a ‘large scale’: archaeological field survey, GIS and digital methods, and utilising landscape and multiperiod approaches. Accordingly,  my research combines field investigation and digital analysis in a multiperiod study of the Mid-Cheshire Ridge, testing the potential contribution of comparative viewshed analysis to understanding past reasoning and change in the landscape.

Ellen Lavender

Scholar, University of York

I'm a 2nd year psychology MSci student specialising in developmental disorders. My project focuses around the development attention in infants and if certain maternal strategies scaffold joint attention and how this varies cross culturally in the UK and Uganda.

I'm really excited for the Laidlaw programme by building my confidence through the leadership programme and exploring my passion for research further!

Sarah Heptinstall

BSc Psychology Student, University of York

I am a first year psychology undergraduate and I love the mind in all it's complexity. I am a mother of 3 children, ranging in age from 6 to 15. I was self-employed, successfully and solely running a barber shop for 6 years prior to starting university. I volunteer with HEY MIND as a peer support worker usually, for either teens or adults, but I am taking a break at present, in order to volunteer with SEED (an eating disorder charity) as an email buddy for a lady with anorexia.

My upcoming research revolves around linking memory with internal experience: we think distractions like mind-wandering and intrusive thoughts will negatively affect how much we can remember!

I am very much looking forward to getting started :)

Joshua Robert Chapman

Student, University of York

I am a Politics and International Relations student at the University of York. My research project is titled: 'How do social demographic changes influence the spread of populism'. I will look at the Brexit referendum and Trump's election in 2016. These will be my focal points from which I hope to find broader trends about the causes for the growth of populism in modern democracies.

Please ask me about anything politics or international relations related, in particular, political behaviour and psychology; i.e. if something happens, what happens next and why?

Aya Hammad

Medical student, University of York

I'm a medical student at the University of York interested in immunology, public health, as well as education and leadership within health care! My research project is about understanding how mutations in immune cells impact a certain group of rare bone marrow disorders (MPNs) that can lead to cancer.

Gracie Daw

Student, N/A

I am a first year History and Politics student. My research project is titled 'How has devolution affected the UK's coronavirus response?' 

I will be trying to understand which factors change the public's perception of their government. I will do this by comparing the devolved administrations in the UK around a specific policy, which was broadly similar despite being devolved, and then understanding which factors affected a change in perception. 

Cherry Sylge

Chemistry Student, University of York

Hello! I am a second year student studying chemistry at the University of York. 

For my research project, I'm interested in ring expansion cascade reactions and how we can effectively synthesise their starting materials. 

I'm looking forward to becoming an effective leader who can make a positive impact in whatever industry I end up in, and inspire more women to pursue careers in STEM subjects.  

I also love yoga, reading and art history.

Zara Sharif

Student, University of York

Hello! My name is Zara Sharif and I am a 2021 Laidlaw Scholar from the University of York, where I study Education!

My research topic looks at body hair and racialized bullying of teenage girls in UK secondary schools, and how this interacts with the relationship between misogyny and racism.

I chose this research topic because I think we are seeing a cultural shift (in some ways) towards a greater acceptance of body hair, but I've found this shift often leaves out women of colour, and ignores how race and gender can intersect to form teenage girls experiences and their relationships with their body, their sense of self and how they perceive themselves. I also want to see how greater society perceive body hair on women of colour in particular and how social media can influence/shape/change these opinions.

Emily Shepherdson (she/they)

Student , University of York

Hi! I'm originally from Hull, East Yorkshire but I'm currently a second year undergraduate student studying for a BA in Linguistics and ab initio Italian at the University of York. Alongside my studies, I am also the current blog coordinator for the University Feminist Society. Being a Laidlaw Scholar allows me to research the success of speech and language therapies in my project entitled 'Hidden behind a smile: acquisition and societal perception of speech sounds in children with cleft lip and palate.'! 

My pronouns are she/they, please feel free to use either! 

Emma Merryweather

Student, University of York

I'm an undergraduate Natural Scientist at the University of York, specialising in nanoscience. My research project was aimed at finding a thermoelectric material that could power biomedical devices with a patient's very own body heat. 

Thomas Mason

Engineering Student, University of York

Hello! 👋 

My name is Thomas and I am a student at the University of York studying electronic engineering with business management. My Laidlaw research project will be exploring how intelligence augmentation is the future for organisational decision making!

Just some of my passions include science and technology studies, business systems, innovation and wanting to see a positive change in the world :) 

Feel free to reach out to me for a friendly chat ☕ 

Nikol Chen

Design and Development Manager, Laidlaw Foundation

Hello! I have been with the Laidlaw Foundation for over 2 years, helping us strengthen the global Laidlaw community and expand our programmes to break the cycle of poverty, reduce inequality, and develop a new generation of leaders.

I am originally from Kazakhstan and I studied Human Sciences at UCL. I am a fan of all things human- and design-related, as well as an avid swimmer, obsessive podcast listener, documentary enthusiast, and film photography fan.

Drop me a line if you'd like to chat and let's connect on LinkedIn! 💬👀

Tom Burdge

Founder, Researcher and Podcast Host, buddhistphilosophy.co.uk

I am the founder of buddhistphilosophy.co.uk where I currently host podcasts with expert guests in Buddhist philosophical practice and theory. With this project, I am to contribute toward correcting the entrenched Eurocentric bias in philosophy by creating an inclusive space for learning about Buddhist philosophy. As a Laidlaw Scholar, I have researched on researched philosophy of time, Buddhist philosophy, and philosophy of language. My research output includes a paper entitled Meaning in Gibberish (forthcoming in Aporia). I have presented this paper and discussed related issues in talks and workshops at the University of St Andrews and the University of Edinburgh. Language learning holds a high in priority in my studies and research. I have studied some Pali (OCBS levels 1 and 2) and I read French fluently. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any interest in the following: Buddhism, Buddhist philosophy, Ambedkar studies, women and Buddhist philosophy, cross-cultural philosophy, critical theory, French philosophy, Laruelle’s non-philosophy, non-Buddhism, philosophy of nonsense, philosophy of death.
Kayla Kim

Marketing Manager, Laidlaw Foundation

Hello! I was Laidlaw scholar in 2019, and I studied national, regional, and local identity in northern Tajikistan through the lens of women's fashion. 

For a year after graduating, I worked for the UN Mine Action Service which removes landmines from conflict and post-conflict regions. Now I have returned to the Laidlaw Foundation!

Please feel free to reach out on the network, on LinkedIn, or by email. I'm always happy to meet new people and chat, especially about nationalism/politics of gender/Central Asia/demining/UN/creative writing or even ballroom dance :)

James R. Harrison

Laidlaw Alum, incoming MA-PhD student, Durham University

Final-year Durham student studying Politics; President of Durham Laidlaw Scholars' Organisation; Incoming ESRC-funded MA-PhD student in NINE DTP. My research so far has covered ideological identity in left-wing student activism, examining the interplay of social movement theory and the philosophy of identity, and my general research interests include citizenship education, democratic theory and the occasional bit of political anthropology. Outside of my studies it's mainly twentieth-century literature, cocktails and cooking!