Tell us about yourself and your journey to beginning a PhD.

I’m originally from Trinidad and Tobago and I moved to the UK when I was 6 years old. I am from a strong academically inclined family and the importance of education was always a common theme in my childhood. I always enjoyed science and once I completed my BSc and MRes, I decided to work as a Research Technician. I really enjoyed building on my scientific curiosity, but an opportunity came up for me to gain experience in a completely different field. I decided to take a career break and worked for a FTSE 100 company in the insurance industry. Although I really enjoyed my time at this firm, it helped me to see that my passion was in the medical field. I wanted to pursue a career in basic science research to dedicate my time to helping those with heart disease. I have really enjoyed the various aspects of what it means to be a postgraduate student, although very challenging, I am hopeful that my work will have a positive impact on healthcare.

What was your motivation to pursue postgraduate research?

I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in basic science research and have an influential role in the field. Therefore, I felt that having a PhD would be very important to help me reach my ambitions. Additionally, Black students and academics are underrepresented in my field and so I wanted to be the change that I want to see. I enjoy my field and love the freedom I am afforded to think and drive my projects forward. I want to help younger students from minority ethnic backgrounds who are passionate about a career in research. I think they may feel they don’t belong in such spaces.

How has your funding helped you?

My PhD is funded by the British Heart Foundation which is a huge source of help. This covers my tuition, bench fees and stipend which means I don’t have to think about getting additional paid work during my studies.