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Bristol Biochemistry graduate selected for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Tomas Tokovyi

Tomas Tokovyi Tomas Tokovyi

Tomas Tokovyi and Nigel Savery at graduation

Tomas Tokovyi and Professor Nigel Savery, Head of the School of Biochemistry, at Tomas's graduation in 2022 Tomas Tokovyi

4 May 2023

Bristol Biochemistry graduate Tomas Tokovyi is one of 77 new scholars to be awarded the 2023 Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

Tomas Tokovyi graduated from the University of Bristol in 2022 after completing the final year of his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry as his home country, Ukraine was invaded by Russia.

Despite the emotional stress this caused Tomas in his final year of studies, he managed to achieve the highest grade of his cohort whilst also spending much of his spare time raising awareness of Ukraine’s war efforts.

During his time in the School of Biochemistry at the University of Bristol, Tomas was elected as a course representative three years running and volunteered as a tutor in deprived areas of the city.

Professor Nigel Savery, Head of the School of Biochemistry, said: “Even in a normal year Tom’s academic performance would have been regarded as outstanding.

“To achieve so much whilst also dealing with the emotional demands of having family and friends in a war zone and dedicating large amounts of time to educating people about the situation in Ukraine is astonishing. We are very proud of him!”

Following his graduation from Bristol, Tomas was awarded a Clarendon scholarship to continue his studies with a Master’s in Genomic Medicine at the University of Oxford. The Clarendon scholarship is awarded only to the top 1% of postgraduate students.

Continuing his academic success, Tomas has now been awarded the Gates Cambridge Scholarship to undertake an MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise at St John’s College, University of Cambridge.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship, funded the single largest donation to a UK university from the from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, is one of the most selective in the world and awards successful students with fully funded tuition fees as well as a grant for living costs.

The 2023 international round of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship program awarded 55 scholarships to exceptional candidates, with only one third of these awards going to Masters students like Tomas.

Tomas says that his “ultimate goal is to contribute to the reconstruction of Ukraine by developing a strong biotech community there” using the skills and knowledge from his undergraduate studies in Biochemistry at the University of Bristol and his postgraduate studies at Oxford and Cambridge.

Professor Nigel Savery and the School of Biochemistry are pleased to have been able to support Thomas on the start of his very successful academic path and future career.

Tomas says: “It is an incredibly big award, and I hope to live up to the Trust's expectations. ‘To whom much is given, much will be required’”.

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