Leicester maths graduates awarded fellowships with National Institute for Health and Care Research

Rahma Said (L) and Mahfuza Anisa (R) graduated from University of Leicester last month.

Two University of Leicester graduates have been awarded fellowships with the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

Rahma Said and Mahfuza Anisa both studied BSc Mathematics and graduated at De Montfort Hall last month.

Both Rahma and Mahfuza will complete their master's degree in Medical Statistics. This will be followed by a year-long research placement based in the Department of Health Sciences in the College of Life Sciences at Leicester.

Both have been awarded scholarships to complete their post-graduate studies at the University of Leicester’s Department of Health Sciences.

The fellowships are funded by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and are designed to support graduates who are looking to start a career in health and social care research. The fellowships fund both Rahma and Mahfuza’s tuition fees for the MSc as well as their salary costs.

Discussing the awards, Rahma, 22, said: “I grew up in Leicester so it was really convenient for me to stay in Leicester and go to university here.

“Due to Covid-19, my university experience was limited and so I knew I wanted to do a master's degree anyway. I spoke to some of my friends who knew about the MSc Medical Statistics.

“Then we found out about the fellowship as well and that was the best option for me. I knew that I wanted to go into healthcare because it is very rewarding.

“From a young age, I always wanted to be a doctor but I changed my mind because it was not something that was for me but healthcare is something that I have always been interested in.

“Medical statistics is a really good balance with both elements of maths and also the health aspect.”

Talking about returning to the University of Leicester to study in September, Rahma said: “I love Leicester. I feel like Leicester is very multicultural and I have met so many people, especially in the last year.

“I am really excited to go back because I am still friends with a lot of people. Also, the lecturers are very nice and open-minded.

“I have had a very good experience at Leicester.”

Mahfuza, also 22, said: “It’s really crazy because when I started uni, I had no idea what medical statistics even was.

“Everyone tells you that there is so much that you can do with a maths degree but it is so broad that I was worried that I didn’t know what I wanted to go into.

“I’ve always known that I didn’t want to do finance and that I wanted to do something that was meaningful to me.

“I was at a women in STEM event that one of my friends was holding and a medical statistician was there.

“It was the first time that I had heard of medical statistics and everything that she said felt like something that I really wanted to do and I have been interested in it ever since.

During their year long research project, Rahma will be looking at lifestyle changes to prevent Type II diabetes whilst Mahfuza will be researching cancer inequality.

The pair will start their studies in September.