A scientist at Nottingham Trent University will be trying to win the votes of school pupils across the country when they quiz her about her research as part of a national competition.
Ellen Williams, a PhD student in the university’s School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, has been selected to take part in ‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here!’
The event, taking place between March 6-17, will see Ellen and other scientists answer questions about their research through fast-paced online forums.
Pupils will then vote for their favourite scientist and the person with the lowest number of votes will be evicted each day during the competition, until one is crowned the winner.
Ellen will be competing in the Animal Behaviour Zone category of the competition.
To win her place she was asked to summarise her work in one sentence and submit it to the students and teachers for them to judge.
The sentence was: ‘I am looking at whether elephants in zoos have best friends forever and if they do, what made them choose them?’
Ellen, who is in her third year of her PhD at the Brackenhurst Campus, is investigating the social relationships and social structures in European zoo elephant herds.
She hopes by taking part in the competition it will encourage other young people to join the world of science and research.
She said: “I have read some really fantastic feedback from other scientists who have taken part in the competition in previous years and I think it sounds like a unique opportunity. I am most looking forward to seeing the range of questions the students send in. It will also be beneficial for me to be able to communicate my research to an entirely different audience.”
If Ellen wins the competition she will receive £500 and will use the money to engage school students or the general public in science or research.
‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here!’ is being held as part of British Science Week and aims to connect students with real people in research and to raise aspirations to jobs that involve science.