A new common room and visiting fellowship programme are among the projects that will be enabled.
The families of Professor Jack Hirst and Dr Alexander Cross, two dedicated science educators with a connection to Imperial, have donated generously in their memories, enabling a number of priority projects to be launched.
Remembering Dr Alexander Cross
Dr Alexander Cross, who passed away in 2018, spent three formative years as a researcher and lecturer at Imperial, under the mentorship of Nobel Laureate Sir Derek Barton – who supported him in both his work and life. Dr Cross gave to the College in his lifetime and, after he passed, his family made a gift to honour his wishes to support the Department of Chemistry with lasting effects.
This gift will now help in the creation of a new undergraduate common room, to be named the Alexander D. Cross Common Room, which will provide improved spaces for study, group work and socialising. The gift will also support scholarships for home students in financial need, bursaries for students taking part in research placements and student hardship funds.
The Head of the Department of Chemistry, Professor Oscar Ces, said of the gift: “This will make a real difference to our widening participation activities that aim to address discrepancies in higher education opportunities among under-represented groups of students. We have all been incredibly touched by the generosity shown.”
The Jack Hirst Scholarship for visiting researchers
Exceptional postdoctoral researchers from Nigeria will have the opportunity to spend a year at Imperial, thanks to the Jack Hirst Scholarship in Chemistry, which was announced in 2020.
Spending time at an overseas university is important for early-career researchers, as it enables them to develop the skills and professional networks needed for an academic career. The Jack Hirst Scholarship will help to lift some of the financial barriers that would prevent talented young Nigerian researchers from studying at Imperial. The scholarship was created thanks to a legacy gift from the late Mrs Alice Hirst, made to honour the memory of her husband Jack, who taught for many years at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria which, like Imperial, was at one time part of the University of London.
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