November 28, 2022
Congratulations are due to Weizmann 2019 Bessie F. International Summer School Graduate, Sai Campbell, who was just awarded an Australia-at-Large Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford for the Territories.
Each year, nine Rhodes Scholarships are available for outstanding Australians to study at Oxford. Of the nine available each year in Australia, each state offers one Scholarship that is awarded by a selection committee of seven members based in the state. In addition, there are three Australia-at-Large Scholarships awarded by a selection committee based in Canberra. This selection committee consider applicants from the ACT and Northern Territory as well as those candidates nominated by state selection committees.
Sai Campbell is an Honours student in the Bachelor of Philosophy (Science) programme at the Australian National University (ANU) and a Research Assistant at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Public Health and was one of the last Australian students to attend the Weizmann International Summer School (ISSI) before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. ISSI is set to recommence face-to-face in 2023.
Sai is a rising scientific star whom Weizmann Australia will continue to follow into the future. Already she has received several accolades since attending ISSI in 2019. Last year Sai was awarded the Charles Allan Seymour Hawker Scholarship of $60,000 over three years, and the 2021 Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Scholarship of $20,000. The former is a full scholarship which supported her studies at ANU, while the 2021 BCG Scholarship was awarded to only three undergraduate students from across Australia and New Zealand, who demonstrate exceptional ability in academic performance in the top 5% cohort, leadership, critical thinking and communication.
Sai said her experience at the Summer School, held in Israel for nearly a month in July learning from the top scientists and getting to know Israel, has changed many things in her life.
“The Bessie F. Lawrence International Summer Science Institute had such an immense impact on me. It afforded me the possibility to really find my passion and love for science. Also acknowledging the generous financial support of the Trawalla Foundation, I look back on my time at the Weizmann Institute with fondness and immense gratitude. The program really does change the course of young people’s lives” said Sai.
“I intend to start my studies at Oxford University next year in September 2023, looking at emergency infectious disease response. I studied public health interventions in Covid-19 for my Honours thesis and intend to continue that work.” she said.
“I also hope to continue to research student equity which was a big part of my life at ANU. To me, equity and epidemiology interlink in pandemic response, so it’s of personal significance to work out how we can respond better to the next international outbreak.”
About 100 Rhodes Scholars are selected from around 60 nominated countries around the world every year, with two Global Scholars selected from any other country. There are now over 5,000 Rhodes Scholars worldwide, and alumni connections are growing.
“I am committed to a career in research with a focus on biosecurity and equity with the WHO or other international organisation. Oxford offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore these issues from not just a technical lens, but holistically, so that I help design pragmatic and ethical solutions to the global pandemic response,” concluded Sai.
Weizmann Australia congratulates Sai, wishes her all the best for her time at Oxford and vows to continue to follow her progress through her academic career.
Sai Campbell with proud parents Dr Ian Campbell and Ms Jiraporn Kraisonsree
Sai in the lab with colleagues at the Summer School in 2019