The Hans Sloane and Sloane McClay Awards

The awards

The Hans Sloane Award recognizes Northern Ireland’s top achievers in ‘A’ Level Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The Award was established in 1960 to commemorate the life and work of the celebrated Killyleagh physician, scientist and collector, Sir Hans Sloane.

In 2017, a new award was established, the Sloane McClay (Triple) Award, to commemorate the life and work of not only Hans Sloane, but also Sir Allen McClay, the visionary entrepreneur and businessman from Cookstown, Founder of the Almac Group. This Award recognizes Northern Ireland’s top achievers in GCSE level Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics.

In 2019, the Hans Sloane Trust and Almac Group announced the addition of a third award offering - the Sloane McClay (Double) Award offered to students studying double award science and maths.

Sloane McClay Award Winners 2020

The winner of the 2019 Hans Sloane Medal, certificate and check for £500 was Claire Whiteside.  Her former school, Strathearn, Belfast, also received a Hans Sloane Medal and framed certificate as recognition for excellence in teaching. Claire is now studying Medicine at Queen’s University, Belfast.

The Sloane McClay (Triple) award first prize went to Francesca Wilson from Our Lady & St. Patrick’s College, Knock while the newly introduced Sloane McClay (Double) top award was presented to Larne Grammar School’s Isaac Holst. Francesca and Isaac received the Sloane McClay trophy, certificate and check for £250 each while their respective schools received a replica trophy and framed certificates to celebrate their teaching excellence.

All winning students also have the opportunity to carry out structured, informative and valuable work experience at Almac’s facilities in Northern Ireland offering them a chance to see first-hand what it is like to work in a leading global pharmaceutical contract manufacturing and development organization.

Read the full news article and learn about all the winners here! 


Interested in next year's awards?

Winning students are invited to attend an annual prestigious awards ceremony in January where they receive certificates and checks up to £500 in addition to the top student, and their school, receiving a Hans Sloane bronze medal and Sloane McClay award for their relevant education level. If you are a teacher or student and would like to know more about the Hans Sloane or Sloane McClay awards, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Download the Sloane McClay brochure

We need more people willing to make a difference to knowledge, understanding and society. You can.


Sloane McClay Awards 2019
Tim Harrison at Sloane McClay Awards Jan 2018
Tim Harrison
Tim Harrison at Sloane McClay Awards Jan 2018
Jamie Brannigan
Jamie Brannigan at Sloane McClay Awards Jan 2018
Matthew Vennard
Matthew Vennard at Sloane McClay Awards Jan 2018


Dr Kirstin Veighey - Hans Sloane Medal Recipient (Click to Read More)

Name: Dr Kristin Veighey MBChB BAO MRCP(Neph) PhD
Date of receipt: 1999

What are your qualifications?
I studied Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics at A-level at Sullivan Upper School in Holywood, before going on to Queen’s University Belfast to study Medicine. During my time as an undergraduate I was awarded prizes and medals in both pathology and general medicine, and achieved distinctions throughout the course. I took part in an Erasmus exchange program in my 4th year, studying obstetrics, gynecology and pediatrics at the University of Oslo. I then undertook an overseas elective project in pediatrics and neonatology at the Children’s’ Hospital in Westmead, Sydney, Australia.

What is your current job role?
I am currently a Consultant Nephrologist (Kidney Specialist) at the Wessex Kidney Center based in Portsmouth, and the Clinical Research Physician at the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS). In my medical capacity, I see patients who have the full range of kidney related illnesses, including those who are on dialysis or have had a kidney transplant. In my research role I work from a base in the Research and Development department to facilitate clinical research across UHS. I also support and mentor research fellows, representing them as the Lead for Medical Clinical Research Fellows on the Southampton Academy of Research. I am a Visiting Fellow of the University of Southampton.

What is your experience to date?
Following graduation I moved to Southampton as I wanted to experience working as a doctor outside of Northern Ireland. I completed my basic medical training in the Wessex region and then secured a training number in Nephrology in North Thames, London. Following two years of clinical training at Imperial and the Royal Free I went on to undertake a PhD in Clinical Pharmacology and Nephrology at UCL, which I was awarded in 2015. My research interests are in kidney transplantation and specifically in simple interventions which improve outcomes for patients.

Following three years of dedicated research time I completed my clinical training at the Wessex Kidney Center prior to being appointed as a Consultant. I am currently in the process of applying for a NIHR postdoctoral research fellowship. I have been part of the trial steering committee of a multicentre multinational randomized controlled trial, the Renal Protection Against Ischaemia Reperfusion (REPAIR) in transplantation which looked at the effectiveness of a simple, safe and virtually free intervention, remote ischaemic preconditioning (RIPC) in improving kidney function following transplantation. I have presented research at international meetings, the highlight being presenting the long term results of REPAIR at the American Society of Nephrology High Impact Clinical Trials session, the most highly regarded forum in the field of clinical research in Nephrology.

What did winning the Hans Sloane award mean to you?
Winning the Hans Sloane Medal back in 1999 was a shock to me as I never really believed in myself or my abilities while at school. The recognition I achieved as a result of having the award has been a springboard into academic medicine, as it is a distinction on my CV which makes me stand apart from other applicants.

Have you any advice for aspiring scientists?
Believe in yourself and your capabilities. If you are passionate about science and understand the positive contribution you, as an individual, can make in the world then follow your dream.

The Hans Sloane and Sloane McClay Awards The Hans Sloane and Sloane McClay Awards

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