Lauren James

Ogden alumni Lauren James is currently doing a masters in chemistry and physics at Nottingham University. She spends most of her time working in the research group of Martyn Poliakoff to make chemistry more environmentally friendly using continuous flow.

"I love  everything about my research, especially that I get to hang out with so many cool scientists it gives me an inferiority complex."

But, Lauren is also a writer of Young Adult Fiction and her first novel will be published in late 2015. This, is Lauren's Ogden story:

I was first put in touch with the Ogden Trust when I was choosing my A-levels. I was disheartened to learn that I wouldn’t be able to study all the subjects I wanted to at my school, and began looking into private schools in my area. When it looked like it wouldn’t be possible, a teacher recommended that I try and find funding from the Trust. When I found out that they were willing to sponsor me, and I could actually go to the school I wanted, it was incredible. It opened up opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise to could continue studying the subjects I loved, not just at A-level but potentially at university too.

I wouldn’t have been in a position to study what I wanted without the sixth form scholarship, and the support didn’t stop there. I also attended the first Physics symposium at Cambridge University in 2009, and the experience of learning in a university environment was a major factor in my decision to continue studying physics at undergraduate level, as well as helping me prepare for the university application process.

I was also able to study at a university in America for a year through the Universitas-21 scheme, supported by the Ogden travel grant. This was the most fulfilling year of my life - in particular, it allowed me to do more independent research in both physics and chemistry than I would have otherwise, which really inspired me to focus on research in the future.

I’m currently in my final semester of my MSci in Natural Sciences at the University of Nottingham, specialising in chemistry and physics. This year I was lucky enough to be chosen to work in the research group of Professor Martyn Poliakoff in chemistry. My research has been focussed on adapting a batch pharmaceutical process to continuous flow, to make the manufacture of medicines more environmentally friendly.  My background in physics has given me a unique position from which to approach this project.

The undergraduate scholarship has given me the security I need to focus on my studies and achieve the best that I can without worry. It has also enabled me to achieve things outside of physics - such as writing a novel! Due to the stability of the Ogden scholarship, I was able to spend my summer holidays creatively, rather than working, and I’m really happy to be able to say that my first novel is being published by Walker in 2015!

At every step of my journey, the Ogden Trust was there to support me and encourage me to push for my goals, rather than giving up. I wouldn’t have studied abroad, written a novel, or even been able to study what I wanted without the Trust. I’m so immensely grateful for all the opportunities that I’ve had so far in my career, and I don’t know where I’d be without constant backing of the Ogden Trust.  

After I graduate (and publish my novel!) I hope to start a PhD in chemistry or physics, and continue working in the field of scientific research.

Katherine Finchley and Matthew Galloway are destined to be together. In 1745, during the siege of Carlisle, in 1854 on the way to the Crimea, in 2016 and 2036 as first scientists and then students uncovering and rediscovering a dangerous plot, and in multiple alternative timescales between. Again and again they are thrown together, with no memory of having met one another before, only an irresistible instinct that they must be with one another against all odds – even while the epic events unfolding all around seem sure to tear them apart.

Recounting through a series of intertwining love stories Katherine and Matthew’s increasingly urgent attempts to divert history, Lauren's book is a romance that combines unique warmth and humour with an ambitious journey through reincarnation, time travel and war.