Inaugural Barnett Scholar Maya Frost, centre, receives her scholarship from Professor Richard Barnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ulster, and Christine Crawford of Norbrook Laboratories.
Leading Northern Ireland pharmaceuticals firm Norbrook Laboratories has made a gift of £100,000 to the University of Ulster to fund a scholarship of £10,000 each year for the next 10 years.
At the personal request of Norbrook Chairman and University of Ulster honorary graduate Lord Ballyedmond, the scholarship has been named in honour of the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Richard Barnett.
The scholarship is available to students taking the MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences within the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The first recipient is mature student Maya Frost, who begins her studies this year.
The gift is additional to the £1million given to the University by Norbrook in 2011 to fund the Norbrook Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences, a post currently held by Professor John Callan.
Lord Ballyedmond OBE said: “Norbrook has a long-standing relationship with the University of Ulster. I am delighted to be able to support the pioneering work of the students and academia that will advance and develop the pharmaceutical industry in years to come at home and further afield.”
Ulster Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Barnett said: “Lord Ballyedmond has personally built Norbrook to become one of Northern Ireland’s most successful companies. He is a truly inspirational entrepreneur and the University is most grateful to him for his generosity and support for our work in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences.”
Inaugural Barnett Scholarship holder is Maya Frost. Maya lives in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, and commutes to the University’s Coleraine campus, where she’s working on a non-invasive way to detect electrolytes in blood.
Maya said: “At present, people with diabetes, for example, must prick their skin several times per day with a lancet or needle in order to analyse their blood. I’m working on a special type of blood sugar sensor which will be embedded in a skin patch – removing the discomfort of piercing the skin.”
It’s a kind of sensor device which Maya – who was formerly a paramedic in Washington State – is convinced could be important and useful for emergency services and front line medical staff in hospitals.
Commenting on Maya’s award, Dr Ahmed Faheem, course director for the MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences said: “Maya is a hardworking, able and dedicated student whose mind is firmly focused on achieving her study goals. She is a very worthy recipient of this award.”
Further information: David Young, Department of PR & Communications, University of Ulster: 028 90 166178 / 07808911343