DOCTORAL researcher Natalie Sappleton is jetting off to Washington in time for the Presidential Election – with a particular interest in the female candidate.
The 28-year-old business and management student has won a highly prestigious scholarship to study at the John W Kluge Centre and the Library of Congress in the heart of the US capital.
And Natalie, who is researching opportunities for women in traditionally male-dominated professions, may witness first-hand the election of America's first female Vice-President, the Republican hopeful Sarah Palin.
The Mancunian researcher said: "It's a fascinating time to be on Capitol Hill and I feel very privileged."
Competition is fierce for Library of Congress Scholarships, with only 30 awarded worldwide each year by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Natalie, from Manchester, will spend five months in Washington in the world’s largest library, where she will have her own office.
She said: "It's very exciting. I'll be studying occupational segregation and entrepreneurial segregation in the US which, put simply, is looking at whether and how women and men working in gender traditional sectors move into self-employment."
Natalie, who gained a first in politics and economics from Glasgow University, worked for the Equal Opportunities Commission before joining MMU Business School, where she has researched women in engineering and was project manager for Managing Maternity in Small Firms, a European Social Fund project.
Dean of MMU Business School Professor Huw Morris, said: "The competition was very tough for this scholarship. Most awards of this type go to students at Oxbridge so Natalie has done exceptionally well. It is testament to the quality of our doctoral programme."