Romaana's passion leads to rare research feat

Our undergraduate Psychology student Romaana Kapadi used the skills she gained on our Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme to win a valuable University Research Internship – and has achieved the rare feat of seeing her work published in an academic journal.

Dedicated to the cause

The Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme (URSS) is a valuable opportunity for Derby students and offers an insight into what it’s like to undertake professional research and work with an experienced research team.

Romaana’s work with sickle cell disease patients is a fantastic example of what can be achieved through the scheme. As one of only five students from the Psychology programme selected to take part, Romaana not only went on to win an internship but had her findings published in the well-known Health Psychology Update, a rare feat for any undergraduate student.

Working closely with Professor James Elander, Head of Centre for Psychological Research, Romaana’s research focused on the experiences of patients with sickle cell disease in hospitals.

Praising her article, Professor James Elander said: “Romaana’s article is a terrific advertisement for both the URSS and internship schemes, and shows what a difference these schemes can make to a student's achievement.”

Romaana Kapadi at Derby
Romaana Kapadi

Immersed in industry

Working in real-life health settings and developing essential research skills were just some of the opportunities offered to Romaana during her project.

Romaana says: “I have had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the haematology department at the Royal London Hospital, gained experience of conducting research with patients and vulnerable groups, and enhanced my knowledge of working with questionnaires and analysing psychometrics.

“Some students aren’t always aware of the opportunities on offer. There is a lot more that students can take from their time at university other than just their degree.”

Recognising achievement

Winning the University Research Internship was recognition of Romaana’s commitment to her research project, and enabled her to continue her valuable work alongside her studies.

“This project has benefited me greatly by providing me with hands-on experience and the confidence to go out into the field and carry out independent research," she says. "It provided me with the confidence to perform a much more complicated statistical test for my dissertation report.”

Romaana researching in hospital
Romaana Kapadi undertaking research at Royal Derby Hospital

Inspiring future students

Romaana hopes her achievements will inspire other students to take that step beyond their course. She says: "As an undergraduate student, there is often limited opportunity to conduct research with specific clinical populations, therefore I would encourage other students to recognise the value of applying to schemes such as this and seek work experience in a field that they wish to pursue a career in.

“This study has strengthened my desire to pursue a career as a health psychologist by demonstrating the impact that research such as this can have on improving the wellbeing of patients with serious health conditions.”

Romaana is now following her dream of becoming a health psychologist after completing her internship and is now undertaking the MSc Health Psychology at Derby. She has already started planning her next research project, analgesic use among patients with pain, collaborating with Professor James Elander at the Royal Derby Hospital.

Psychology goggles

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