Found some spare time to answer all these insightful and fun questions!
ISC Lahore – Middle School, High School (2006-2012); University of Manchester – BSc Psychology (2012-2015); University of Manchester – MPhil Primary Care Mental Health (2016-2017); University of Manchester – PhD Mental Health (2017-present)
BSc, MPhil, MBPsS
In high school I spent summers working at a junior school summer camp. During uni I did placements during my holidays in Pakistan as an intern in a private psychological practice, a cancer hospital and for a school’s psychologist. After undergrad I was a clinical psychologist trainee at a government hospital in Pakistan and after masters I was a research assistant at the University of Manchester and an assistant psychologist at a social enterprise that worked with children.
PhD Student (DOME Project: Dementia Research), Research Assistant (Salford Royal Foundation Trust), Teaching Assistant (University of Manchester), Helpline Volunteer, Assistant Editor (British Psychological Society), Assistant Editor (Research Hive)
I’m a llama loving knitter, writer, bookworm psychologist who loves escape rooms, plants, and marble cake!
I’m an Irish Pakistani who spent years living in both countries before moving to Manchester over nine years ago. I live with my plant family now. I’ve been interested in psychology and the mind since I was 13 but I also love…
Reading (thrillers are my fave), Puns, Knitting, Making my own costumes like this Deadpool cap, Playing the Sims 3, and Badminton! I adore llamas, Netflix, rainy weather, tea and any show narrated by David Attenborough (there is no cooler episode than Blue Planet -The Deep).
In school I struggled with science subjects like chemistry and physics and didn’t think I could be a scientist- but because science is so big and varied I was able to do research in stuff I’m actually good at like biology and the brain.
I’m looking at why people from different backgrounds and cultures are not getting the help they need for dementia and what I can do about it!
I do research on dementia and people from different cultures, like ethnic minorities. I noticed ethnic minorities like British South Asians don’t get as much help as everyone else for dementia. They can’t get into clinics and hospitals as much as they should, have trouble understanding information on dementia and it’s not spoken about enough in their communities.
They also have a tougher time with dementia tests. For example, a lot of older South Asians aren’t as good at speaking English as they are South Asian languages like Urdu. They’re also better at recognising things from their own culture than western culture. If we give them English dementia tests with western culture questions they might fail, even if they don’t have dementia. Or they have dementia but can’t complete the test and then they don’t get help.
I made a South Asian dementia test in Urdu to make it easier for South Asians to get a proper diagnosis of dementia (you can read about that here!). Now I’m interviewing people who work in dementia clinics to ask what it was like to work with British South Asians and why they think it’s so complicated to give them help. I’m also going to interview British South Asians who have dementia and the people who care for them to ask what the clinics was like, how we could make it easier and more informative for them, and what they would like to know about dementia.
It’s all about asking them what they want to see from research and making it happen!
My Typical Day:
Interviewing people, analysing data, writing about research and helping other people write, speaking to others about my research, studying, teaching, coming up with creative projects- all kinds of things!
My days are either very calm or super busy.
On busy days I interview people with dementia or their family and friends or those who work in dementia services. I also teach undergrad students, prepare posters and presentations, speak at conferences or hold my own seminars and workshops.
On calm days I cosy up at home or in my office and do online research, analyse my data, write up my work to be published or write blog posts, edit other peoples’ blogs and writing, reply to emails and catch up on paperwork. I’ll put episodes of Spongebob on in the background to keep me alert. I also mark student’s assignments, prep lessons, go to classes or study on mental health, statistics, research methods and scientific writing or just read about dementia and other psychology related things.
What I'd do with the prize money:
Hold a special conference on dementia in ethnic minorities to share dementia research with people living with dementia, people who care for them, people who work in dementia services, dementia researchers and the public!
I think it’d be great to hold a free conference- a big online event- on dementia in ethnic minorities in the UK to share the dementia research with lots of people.
The online event will be for:
- People living with dementia
- People caring for someone with dementia
- People working in dementia clinics
- People who do dementia research like me!
- Anyone else in the general public
Researchers will give research talks on the work they are doing for ethnic minorities in an interesting and understandable way because people deserve to know about the research that can effect them. Researchers will also be able to make posters about their research and share it with everyone on a conference website.
The conference will also have special talks from dementia experts, and prizes for the best research speaker and best poster. We’ll also ask people to draw pictures of what they think dementia is, what dementia means to them, or how they would explain dementia and we’ll create an online gallery to share at the conference. There will also be an online dementia art workshop people can join to relax with others and do a bit of art.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Bookworm, Ambitious, Goofy
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
What was your favourite subject at school?
English and Biology
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
A few times for things like passing notes or skipping a class, though not often!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I thought about being a lawyer
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Segwaying through Prague freehand- if you went really fast it felt like flying!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Seeing the future, Reading people's minds, Having more hours in the day
Tell us a joke.
Do I know any psychology jokes? I'm afreud not.