Wisbech woman will travel abroad as part of prestigious Churchill Fellowship

Leisa Nichols-Drew

Leisa Nichols-Drew - Credit: Archant

A resident from Wisbech has been awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel the world and research cutting-edge solutions to important topical issues.

Leisa Nichols-Drew, a forensic scientist and university lecturer from Wisbech, will be travelling to Australia and Canada to investigate best practice in forensic science approaches to knife crime investigations.

There are eight winners from across East Anglia altogether, including a firefighter, a charity chief executive and health and social care commissioner.

Their issues range from mental health support to investigating knife crime, whale protection and independent living for older people.

Together they will receive grants totalling almost £55,000 and travel across four continents.

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They are among 150 people from all regions of the UK who were selected this year from more than 1,000 applicants to win a Churchill Fellowship. The average length of a Fellowship is six weeks.

A Churchill Fellowship is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand professional and personal horizons and to make a difference to communities and professions across the UK.

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It begins with a travel grant to spend up to two months overseas, researching an innovative practice on a topic of their choice.

Organisers say that it is not an academic study – but a practical exploration of how things work in other countries, by yielding global insights that can be brought back to the UK to influence change.

“Churchill Fellows search the world for ways to improve their communities and professions,” said Julia Weston, chief executive of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT). “This life-changing opportunity is open to everyone, with our next round of grants opening on 27 April.”

The awards will be publicly announced on 9 March.

The next chance to apply for a Churchill Fellowship opens on April 27 2018 and includes new categories on ‘Rural living: strengthening countryside communities’, ‘Suicide: prevention, intervention and postvention’ and ‘Emergency services: crisis prevention, response and recovery’.

Application details are online at wcmt.org.uk.

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