The world’s top Bulgarian biology student seeks funding to attend the University of Cambridge

The best Bulgarian student in biology needs funding to attend the University of Cambridge

Petar Zhotev is the best in biology among high school students in Bulgaria. In 2022 he won second place at the International Biology Olympiad – the most prestigious biology competition in the world. This is the best result among all Bulgarian competitors in this olympiad since its founding in 1990.

This year, thanks to his academic successes and after a series of challenging exams, Petar was admitted to study Natural Sciences at Trinity College at the University of Cambridge, UK. This is the most highly acclaimed college at one of the best universities in the world and among its graduates are eminent scientists such as Newton, Darwin, Krick – molecular biologist, one of the discoverers of the structure of DNA, Perutz – molecular biologist, famous for his work on the structure of haemoglobin, for which he received a Nobel prize.

Цветно посрещане за златните ни биолози, спечелили 4 медала от Международната олимпиада (снимки)

For the last three years Petar achieved a number of great successes in biology. The medal from 2022 is his second gold medal from the International olympiad after his triumph in 2021. He is one of the three winners of the National science competition “Young talents”, which gave him the opportunity to participate in EUCYS (European Union Contest for Young Scientists). Last year Petar also participated in the Science and Innovation fair where he was awarded a prize by the Society for In Vitro Biology. In 2021, more than three years ago, he won a silver medal from the European Union Science Olympiad (EUSO) where he competed with students much older than him.

Страхотно представяне и 4 медала за българските ученици по биология от Международната олимпиада (видео)
Petar shared that he was interested from a very young age in understanding how the world around us works and this led him to pursuing a degree in the field of natural sciences. He is especially talented in biology and chemistry, as evident from the multiple awards he has won. His first science olympiad was in Biology in the 7th grade where he won the second place in Bulgaria, despite his competitors being up to 2 years older than he was at the time. This was the crucial moment that led him to pursue biology as his primary interest. The areas in which he wants to work the most are molecular biology and genetics. Now Petar is graduating from the Sofia High School of Mathematics and is determined to continue on the path of science. 

Български ученици спечелиха 2 отборни медала от първата Европейска олимпиада по експериментална наука (видео)

The choice he made was to study Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge. He is convinced that this is the best opportunity for him to develop his talents. After a series of examinations, Peter was successfully accepted for a 3-year course. The final obstacle to making his dream come true is the tuition fee, amounting to £47,629 per year. The University of Cambridge has very limited options for financial aid and so he didn’t receive a scholarship. His family can provide a maximum of £20,000 yearly and for the rest he has started a crowdfunding campaign. Peter hopes that he will find people who believe in his talent and ability and will help fund his studies.

You can help Petar fund his studies by donating to his campaign at https://podkrepi.bg/campaigns/petar-v-cambridge. If you want to get in touch with him, you can email him at [email protected], email his mentor – professor Albena Jordanova at [email protected] or MediaBricks.bg at [email protected].

You can also support him directly via his bank account BG27STSA93000026605443 – Petar Zhotev. 

Най-добрият български ученик по биология е приет в Кеймбридж и търси финансиране, за да продължи да учи

Here’s more information about Trinity College, Cambridge University and the International Biology Olympiad.

At the International Biology Olympiad Petar has won two gold medals. According to the established international rules, the Olympiad includes two rounds – practical and theoretical. All the questions in terms of complexity are well above the requirements for the curriculum content included in 11th and 12th grade biology at Bulgarian schools. They are comparable to the skills and knowledge of excellent students of some Master’s programmes in biology. The practical tasks, divided by the organisers into 4 experiments, are distributed in laboratories in the disciplines of Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Plant Physiology and Zoology and Biosystematics. The tasks are extremely difficult and require considerable knowledge, skill and precision – preparation of microscopic slices from plant stems, dissection and species-level identification of a fish, determination of the activity of an enzyme by plotting and analysing its kinetic parameters, and determination of the effect of various substances on enzyme activity. In addition to knowledge in various areas of biology, logical thinking, mathematical accuracy, speed, and resourcefulness, established laboratory skills are required to solve the olympiad problems. Many of the cases assigned for analysis have been published in recent months in leading scientific journals and require up-to-date training and skills in modern laboratory methods and techniques.

In conclusion, Petar Zhotev is one of the most gifted students in the area of biology, as evidenced by his multitude of awards from various competitions and especially by the fact that he is second in the world at the IBO. He hopes that he will one day change the world as a scientist and contribute to humankind’s knowledge about the natural world. He is aiming high for the University of Cambridge because an outstanding education is the greatest foundation of any successful career, especially in the sciences.

Trinity College was founded by King Henry VIII in 1546 and is one of the oldest and most prestigious colleges at the University of Cambridge, which has an outstanding teaching quality, marvellous architecture and graduates with astonishing scientific achievements. Its extensive library holds priceless copies of books including the first edition of Newton’s Principia Mathematica. Trinity College has a remarkable history and a strong tradition of academic work with a large number of Nobel laureates, medal winners in various fields of science, famous politicians, actors, poets and writers.

University of Cambridge has 121 Nobel Laureates, of which 34 are from Trinity College. Among the college scholars with the greatest contributions to world science are:

Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) is perhaps the most famous scientist associated with Trinity College. He is regarded as one of the most influential scientists in history. Newton studied at Trinity from 1661 to 1665, after which he made fundamental discoveries in physics and mathematics, including his laws of motion and theory of gravity.

Francis Crick (1916-2004) was a molecular biologist and one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA. Crick studied at Trinity College from 1937 to 1940 and later won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962 for his work on DNA.

Max Perutz (1914-2002) was a molecular biologist who is best known for his work on the structure of haemoglobin, the molecule that carries oxygen in our blood. Perutz studied at Trinity College and later won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1962.

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was a biologist and naturalist who is best known for his theory of evolution by natural selection. Darwin studied at Christ’s College, Cambridge, but later became a Fellow of Trinity College and spent much of his career there.

James Clark Maxwell(1831-1879) was a physicist and mathematician who made major contributions to the study of electromagnetism. Maxwell studied at Trinity College and later became a professor at Cambridge University.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was a philosopher and mathematician who made significant contributions to philosophy and mathematics. Russell studied at Trinity College and later won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950.