Meet Arathi Kizhedath (MSc ir) - A Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher in the UK

Categories: Meet the researchers

Arathi Kizhedath is a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher/PhD student at the School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, Newcastle University in England, United Kingdom.

What took you to Newcastle University?

I got an offer to work as a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher (PhD student) in the EU Horizon 2020 funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions Innovative Training Network "BIORAPID" and Newcastle University was the consortium partner hosting my project. It is a great University in terms of research and development.

How different is studying in Europe from India?

I have been exposed to education system in the Netherlands and the UK as I did my Master's from Wageningen University and Research Center, the Netherlands. There is greater emphasis given on interdisciplinary research, application based learning, collaboration, networking and international exposure. Overall, development as a scientist/researcher is of great importance in Europe; so is dissemination of research to the general public. I have also learnt how to use social media resources to promote research and connect with other scientists.  Work life balance is another aspect which is given a lot of priority irrespective of which stage you are in a scientific career.

What do you bring from India to Europe?

Mostly food!  Although, it is never too difficult to get Indian food in the UK. On a more sentimental note, the love and support from my friends and family.

What are the advantages of being a female researcher?

There is a lot of encouragement and opportunities for female researches in terms of scientific and personal development. Initiatives such as NU women, Newcastle University's Women's Network provide a forum for women to share ideas and provide mutual support for their career development. The policies are really friendly and there is tremendous encouragement for female researchers and scientists to take on leadership and managerial roles. There are a lot of opportunities to showcase your talent. I have participated in events like Soapbox science, a novel public outreach platform for promoting women scientists and the science they do.  I represent Chemical Engineering research associates in the Equality and Diversity Committee. It has really helped me learn a lot and develop not only as a scientist but also as an Individual. The support from colleagues and mentors is overwhelming.

Thank you Arathi for this interview!