Aisha Jamil

Aisha Jamil

Aisha is a Natural Sciences (MNatSc, BSc) student and is studying Chemistry and Biochemistry. She was attracted to the University of Leeds through the research-led teaching and laboratory facilities, as well as the high level of flexibility within the Natural Sciences course.

Living and learning in Leeds

The Natural Sciences course allows you to design your degree to suit your career aspirations and interests and maintain a breadth of scientific subjects. Aisha said, “The best part of the course is the lack of restrictive scientific learning. Studying Natural Sciences has allowed me to explore a variety of scientific concepts in chemistry, biochemistry and environmental science - many of which are intertwined.”

Studying Natural Sciences has allowed me to explore a variety of scientific concepts in chemistry, biochemistry and environmental science - many of which are intertwined.

“The course has equipped me with organisational skills, due to the busy nature of the course. I have also improved my interpersonal and communication skills through general university experiences, such as working as a student ambassador and undergraduate representative for the School of Chemistry Athena Swan committee. Athena Swan is a charter committed to promoting gender equality in the STEM sector. I am very passionate about implementing equal opportunities by addressing institutional discrimination and intersectionality.

I also enjoy living in Leeds. It’s a large city, with a lot to offer. The city centre itself is full of shopping centres, entertainment and activities, so you don’t have to travel very far to find something fun to do.”

Laidlaw Scholarships

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship programme invests in talented and motivated undergraduate students, giving them the knowledge, skills and experience to become active global citizens and future leaders.

Aisha was appointed to the programme, and as a Laidlaw Scholar, she worked on a project titled, ‘Exploring the Health Effects of Betalains’. The project focused on betalains, a group of pigments, which have been associated with the health benefits of beetroot.

She said, “Currently, there is a lack of evidence to support these claims and the project aims to address this.”

Ambitions for the future

“I am currently an undergraduate student so I am keeping my options open, in terms of career choices. My main goal for the near future is to go into postgraduate research, after completing my Masters degree. There are a number of different fields I’m considering, such as drug synthesis and atmospheric pollution.”

Advice for prospective students

“It is a challenging and rewarding course. I had initially enrolled on to the MChem Chemistry programme but quickly realised that I wanted to study biochemistry too, which encouraged me to transfer to Natural Sciences. I was also excited to study a new science, which I hadn’t studied before - environmental science.

Switching to Natural Sciences was definitely the right decision for me!

Natural Sciences is, therefore, a great choice for those wanting to explore science on an interdisciplinary level. The course equips you with a broad range of skills and, thus, there are numerous career opportunities, scientific and non-scientific, associated with Natural Sciences.”