Bioveterinary science student Becca McLean wins Alltech young scientist award for scientific paper on Streptoccus equi superantigens.

A Harper Adams University student has won a prestigious prize in a global young scientist competition.

Becca McLean.Bioveterinary science student Becca McLean from Reading came top out of all UK undergraduates in the Alltech Young Scientist Award competition.

To compete for the award, students are asked to submit a scientific paper on a topic such as veterinary science, animal nutrition, feeding technology, agricultural developments or agricultural management. Becca, 22, wrote about Streptococcus equi superantigens (bacterium) – the subject of her final year research project.

She said: “I entered the competition after Alltech came to speak to students at the start of the academic year. I was also encouraged by my lecturer, Dr Sandy Mackenzie.

“I feel really chuffed about winning against all the other competitors in the UK at undergraduate level. I never thought it would happen because it was open to all universities.

“I hope it will really benefit me in the future as I want to pursue a career in research, therefore I hope this award will be recognised when I apply for PhDs at various institutes. It shows that I am capable of writing a sound piece of academic research, which I hope is something that other applicants won’t have.”

As a 2013 “local winner”, Becca receives a trophy, certificate and a commemorative memory stick in recognition of her achievement. The global competition takes place in the USA, at Alltech’s headquarters in Kentucky, during the annual International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium. Overall winners will receive a trophy and a scholarship of either US$5,000 (£3,275) or US$10,000.

The Alltech Young Scientist Award competition is open to undergraduate, PhD and Masters students from any animal or agricultural science field currently enrolled at an accredited college or university.

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