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We talk to the winner of the Jack Wills Young Brits competition 2014

1st June 2015

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Do you think you’ve got what it takes to be crowned a top Jack Wills Young Brit – bagging a cool £5,000 in the process?

The Jack Wills Young Brits competition is back on the hunt for extraordinary fresh talent in 2015 – whether it’s in creativity, enterprise, innovation or endurance.

Eight winners (two from each category) will receive a cash sum to put towards their chosen pursuit, along with £500 of Jack Wills clothing vouchers and a special prize tailored to their chosen category.

The categories are deliberately broad, making sure everyone has a chance to put their name forward – whether their skills are in technological invention, endurance sport, entrepreneurialism or a whole host of other areas.

To get an idea of what the competition organisers are looking for, we met Joshua Welsh – currently a second year PhD student and winner of the Young Brits Innovation category 2014 - and see what he has to say about coming out top last year.

Tell us about some of your key achievements since you won the Young Brits last year.

A few months after winning, I started collaborating with a large scientific company to build a machine for our lab that detects incredibly small particles. I have done some of the work on the West Coast of America.

In March I won a British Council Researcher Links award, which allowed to me to travel to Moscow, Russia, and give a lecture on the machinery I am building and how others can optimise their machinery.

I have also completed a teaching qualification, which will make me an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

In April I presented some of my work at an international conference (ISEV 2015,) in Washington D.C.

Over April and July I became a Brilliant Club tutor. These are postgrad researchers from the top universities who go into school and teach their research to high attaining students over a period of six weeks, to help them have a better chance of applying and getting into the top universities.

I have also just received a student travel award to present my work at an international conference (Cyto 2015), in June.

How has winning the Young Brits helped you with your career and aspirations?

The money has been one of the biggest benefits and has gone towards my research, and allowed me to do some research that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do!

It’s also been a great opportunity for me to disseminate some of my research; my field is a fairly small area that is rapidly growing, so it’s nice to be able to give it some publicity. 

What advice would you give to aspiring Young Brits looking to enter this year's competition?

Praising yourself can feel a bit egotistical if you’re not used to it, or have had to do it before. But it you don’t share everything you’ve been doing, we’ll never know how extraordinary you are. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn!

Find out more about theJack Wills Young Brits competition – including how to enter – here.

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