Dr Bahijja Raimi-Abraham
Post-doctoral Research Associate, University College London School of Pharmacy
What type of projects do you offer Nuffield students?
I am an early career researcher at University College London (UCL) School of Pharmacy, funded by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC), and I am also a pharmacist. My research interests lie within the areas of molecular drug delivery, nanomedicine, pharmaceutical materials, dosage form design and medication use, systems and practice.
I recently had the opportunity to supervise (supported by two senior academics, Dr Mine Orlu-Gul and Dr Susan Barker) three Nuffield placement students over the summer on a research project which aimed to develop age-appropriate dosage forms for paediatric and geriatric population groups.
It was important that the students gained an authentic experience of conducting lab-based research at a university level. The placement was structured to ensure that the students gained research skills - such as laboratory techniques, scientific and publication writing and literature searching - as well as enhance their personal and professional development (CV writing, learning how to write professional emails, etc).
The success of the placement would not have been possible without the support and involvement of the research group which I am a part of; they provided an excellent opportunity for the students to receive careers advice from professional scientists. The invaluable support of the UCL School of Pharmacy library staff should also be recognised, who provided training and workshop sessions on literature searching and the importance of research journals to the scientific community. In addition, BASF kindly donated samples for the research project.
What motivates you to supervise a student through the Nuffield Research Placements programme?
As an early-career researcher, I saw the Nuffield programme as an excellent learning opportunity, offering me the chance to develop my supervision skills as well as gain experience in conducting independent work - essential for my professional and career development as an academic.
What do you feel are the main benefits to both your organisation and the students from participating in the programme?
Hosting a Nuffield student could provide an additional platform for an institute to promote ongoing research as well as promote undergraduate courses offered by the department. From my experience, I believe the Nuffield program offers students a unique opportunity to be involved in research - providing them with career options they may not have otherwise considered for their future.