Old Collegian, Nelson Lam, awarded prestigious Woolf Fisher Scholarship

September 17, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Old Collegian, Nelson Lam, is one of three young New Zealanders who has just been awarded a prestigious Woolf Fisher Trust Scholarship to study for his doctorate at the University of Cambridge. The Scholarship is worth around $300,000.

Nelson graduated from Saint Kentigern in 2009 as the Dux Medallist and returned to visit early in 2010 on learning that both he and fellow student, Asher Emanuel had been named as NZQA Premier Scholars; only eight had been awarded throughout New Zealand that year. Nelson was awarded four Outstanding Scholarships in English, Chemistry, Statistics and Calculus with a further scholarship for having the top mark in New Zealand for music. He was later awarded a further Scholarship with the announcement he was one of eight who had been selected to receive a NZST (NZ Educational Scholarship Trust) Award.

In addition to his academic prowess at College, Nelson was also fully involved with the cultural life of the school as a prefect, a member of the Chapel Band, Kentoris Choir and the Orchestra and Concert Band. He also appeared on stage in many College musicals, contributed to SKCTV and played badminton for the College.

Nelson, now aged 22, is currently studying towards his BSc Honours in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Auckland. His PhD research topic with Cambridge University’s Department of Chemistry will be catalyst-directed, programmable molecular assembly as a new paradigm for constructing chivosazoles and related natural products with potent anti-cancer activity.

We wish Nelson the very best as he pursues the next stage in his career. We are very proud of him!

The Woolf Fisher Scholarship

Sir Woolf Fisher (1912-1975), co-founder of Fisher and Paykel, set up his Trust in 1960 to recognise and reward excellence in education. Today it has become one of New Zealand’s largest education trusts. He was later knighted for his outstanding contribution to industry and education in New Zealand.

Sir Woolf’s nephew, Sir Noel Robinson is current Chairman of the Trust. He, too, is a former Saint Kentigern graduate. In acknowledging this year’s three recipients he said, ‘These young New Zealanders have been selected for their outstanding academic ability and leadership potential, as well as their integrity, boldness of vision and capacity for work – qualities which Sir Woolf valued. We are investing in these young New Zealanders who aspire to return to New Zealand and have the potential to become leaders in their field.’

  • The Woolf Fisher Scholarship funds up to three young New Zealand graduates to study for up to four years for a doctorate at the University of Cambridge (initially it was either Oxford or Cambridge)
  • This Scholarship is one of the most valuable post graduate scholarships in New Zealand–worth around $300,000 per recipient (including an allowance of £13,000 per annum, payment of University and College fees, and an annual return fare home to New Zealand)
  • In any one year there are around 10–12 Woolf Fisher Scholars studying in the UK
  • The Scholars are under 30 years of age, have attended a New Zealand secondary school for at least two years, and have or expect to graduate with a first-class honours degree from a New Zealand universityThe Scholarships Committee of Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara administers a wide range of nationally available undergraduate and postgraduate awards.
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