By Dana Meknas
Journalist at TREC
In less than two weeks, it’s Nadia Arshad‘s turn to defend her thesis. After four years, she’s looking forward to finishing up her work, getting her PhD degree and setting off to new horizons.
Date of defense day: 29th of August 2018.
The trial lecture will be held from 10.15-11.00 at Store Auditorium, MH-bygget, UiT.
Presentation and public defense of the thesis will be happening in the same location, from 12.15-15.00.
Name of the thesis: Venous thromboembolism: Incidence, recurrence and mortality.
Nadia is originally from Pakistan, but came to Norway from Stockholm, Sweden. She started working at TREC in mid September 2014.
You’re almost there! How does it feel to be so close to completing your PhD?
– I am happy and feeling privileged that I am completing my PhD within the allocated time period (rather 11 days early!). I am satisfied that I have made the best use of the time and training during my doctoral journey. I am also full of hope and hoping for the best now and afterwards.
How much work has it really been?
– A PhD is indeed a lot of hard work. I feel that it is a marathon of intellectual challenges, devotion, determination, commitments and responsibilities. One cannot complete a PhD in a week or a month’s time. It requires consistent hard work on an everyday basis. In the first two years I completed my mandatory courses and simultaneously worked on my PhD project. Some days are structured and scheduled, but others less so. The PhD process requires long working hours, self discipline and dedication. I endeavor to inspire others to do the same.
Nadia completed a Master of Philosophy in clinical psychology in Pakistan and worked as a research manager in the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP). Her keen interest in public health and epidemiology started while she was working in CPSP. In view of her growing interest, Nadia decided to adopt epidemiological research as her career after working in Pakistan.
What has it been like to take this degree?
– Earning a doctorate degree is one of the highest honors in one’s academic journey. Yes, it is challenging and demanding but I like to take challenges. I embraced it and found it very rewarding. I agree with my supervisor’s (Sigrid Brækkan) statement: “If scientific writing was too easy then everyone would be doing it”. My roller coaster ride has had rewarding days, frustrations, hope, challenges and many other things in equal measures! Nevertheless, every moment was well worth it – after all I am near to achieve something that I am truly passionate about.
In 2011 Nadia was selected for a full scholarship for a two-years Master of Philosphy degree with specialization in epidemiology from Karolinska Institutet – a medical university in Sweden. She completed that in 2013, and after working as a research assistant at the Global Health Department in Karolinska, she was offered the position as a PhD student in clinical epidemiology of venous thromboembolism at TREC.
What has been the best thing about it?
– There are many wonderful things about TREC. My project and work environment are a few of them, and of course my supervisor Sigrid’s smile and TRECxercise 🙂
What has been your motivation to do this?
– Research is and has always been my interest. Once I was selected for this position my interest in the subject area and my eagerness to learn more in epidemiology expanded, and it has continued to do so with time. I knew the statistical program SPSS, but learning the STATA software became my next motivation.
How were you recruited to TREC?
– Epidemiology has always been my driving passion and I wanted to do a PhD within this field. I applied for several PhD positions while I was in employment at Karolinska. I was interviewed for two positions in two different research groups within one week. I was selected for both. Finally, I chose the position in TREC since I thought that this project was the most interesting one.
What are you going to do next?
– I will continue my career as an epidemiologist. My PhD journey has given me such a boost and such confidence and I feel that my project has opened new lines of scientific inquiry in the field of venous thrombosis and epidemiology. I am confident that I will use my valuable experience and put all learnt skills to practical use for a productive research career ahead.
We wish Nadia good luck on her defense day and on the road ahead!