UA Alumni: Conor MacDonald
Conor was the Overall Winner in the Medical Sciences category in 2015.
He had just completed a degree in physics in Scotland and was preparing to start a PhD, when he received the news he had won the Undergraduate Award in the Medical Sciences category.
What are you doing now?
These days I’m working as a postdoc epidemiologist in Paris. I work with a large (~100,000) cohort of women and work to determine which environmental and physiological related factors are associated with the development of cardiovascular diseases.
What do you like the most about what you do?
The cool and most enjoyable part is researching the things people enjoy, for example eating a little bit of dark chocolate, and finding that it can keep us healthy (we have a paper on cocoa and hypertension if anyone's interested)!
Has receiving an award for your hard work helped?
As my award and the project for which I submitted it was in a subject a bit different from my degree, medical sciences in place of physics, I think that showing that I could do medical research to a high enough standard to win helped in my transition from physics to epidemiology.
I’d really say that winning the award led me down some paths that wouldn’t have happened otherwise, so thank you to everyone involved, and that was there in 2015!
Why should students submit to the UA Programme?
I would (and do!) encourage everyone to submit to the award, as the event itself was super fun, with some extremely good speakers, and I met so many fun, inspiring, and brilliant people; I’m extremely grateful for that.
It also adds something unique to mention on the CV, and it’s nice to discuss receiving an award from Michael Higgins during job interviews and beyond.
"I’d really say that winning the award led me down some paths that wouldn’t have happened otherwise."