TWO Winchester students are celebrating being shortlisted for a prestigious scholarship.

Samantha Cooper and Felicity Pelling, both from Peter Symonds College, were among just ten students shortlisted for the Peter Watson International Scholarship (PWIS), a national award open to all students undertaking a science-related ‘Extended Project Qualification’.

The scholarship provides an opportunity for youngsters considering a career in science, technology, medicine or engineering to experience the cutting edge of research and technology and gain an international perspective.

The ten students were invited to Queens’ College Cambridge to present their work before a judging panel and attend a dinner.

Samantha’s project investigated whether the use of adrenaline should be continued in cases of cardiac arrest while Felicity’s project focused on research into the controversial drug Avastin, initially quickly approved to treat breast cancer but later found to have possible serious side effects.

Felicity said: “It was an incredible experience to present to such an esteemed panel and to have the opportunity for an academic discussion at such a high level. It certainly helped create momentum for my project.”

Samantha added: “The panel didn’t know that adrenaline was introduced before clinical trials were common so it was great to teach them something new. It was inspiring to see different generations getting together to discuss scientific research.”

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is an additional qualification equivalent to half an A-level. It is a flexible award allowing students to work to their strengths by giving them the opportunity to choose to either produce a dissertation, an investigation report, a performance, an event, a design, or an object.

Julian Foster, a biology tutor at Peter Symonds, said “It is an incredible achievement for both Samantha and Felicity to be shortlisted for the PWIS. Both students worked extremely hard and produced projects of exceptional quality exploring significant issues, reflected by the comments of the judging panel.”