Careers: Work experience with the SAPPHIRE research group – Aisha Seedat

SAPPHIRE recently had the opportunity to have a Health Studies undergraduate student, Aisha Seedat, do a work experience placement with us. Below, Aisha writes about her time with SAPPHIRE and what she’s taken away from the experience.


I’m Aisha, a second year Health Studies student at De Montfort University (DMU). I recently started work experience at the University of Leicester, under the SAPPHIRE Research Group. I have gained a lot of knowledge and understanding about how the team works and I’m glad I’ve been able to help out while I was with them. The placement has also helped me to decide what I want to do in the future; to pursue a research-related career in health, alongside being a practitioner in the health industry.


This work experience placement gave me the chance to meet with researchers and to understand what research topics they conduct work and analyse in, what methods they use, and different public engagement activities. I also learnt more about different ethical approval processes and how these differ from DMU’s ethical approval process.


I also attended a SAPPHIRE academic meeting, where a talk was given about the OPTI-PREM research project. The project looks at research conducted on a neonatal ward where parents’ experiences of the ward were gathered, and it looks at whether these experiences need to be improved further. The findings were very interesting and it was useful to know what goes on with babies who are premature and how it affects, not only the parents of the child, but staff too. It would be interesting to read the end publication.


I also had the opportunity to code and summarise a research-based study on the Evaluation of the impact of High-Intensity Specialist-Led Acute Care (HiSLAC) on emergency admissions to NHS hospitals at weekends. This was quite challenging but enjoyable to summarise.


Finally, I was invited to attend a seminar on leadership styles, which is part of the University’s MSc Quality and Safety in Healthcare. It was very interesting to learn about medical leadership and the pros and cons of being a leader.


As a whole, I have enjoyed working with the team. I have made a lot of contacts that will help me in the future, especially career wise. The experience has taught me a lot about how the research staging process works and this is one of the things I want to achieve after graduating.

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