Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships - Khadija Anjum

 

 


 

A Big Congratulations to our PhD candidate Khadija Anjum for winning the Vanier Canada Graduate Fellowship Award!
 

Twenty-one doctoral students at UBC have received a Vanier Canada Graduate Fellowship, and three postdoctoral fellows have received a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship. The announcement was made on June 18, 2020. Across Canada, 168 new Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship recipients and 70 new Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship recipients were selected. 

These young researchers are working on subjects that span the health sciences, the natural sciences and engineering, and the social sciences and humanities, from Khadija Anjum’s research on impact of food price increases on intra-household food allocation and the mediating role of social networks in building resilience in rural and urban communities of South Asia to Karl Zimmerman’s investigation on the power of biological water filters, to Sara Hosseinirad's work on developing an automated welding robot using machine learning and advanced control techniques.



Learn more about Khadija's research -  Planning for Food Security in South Asia amid Growing Food Price Vulnerabilities among Low Income Groups

Recent increases in food prices of staple crops are of particular concern for the food security of low income groups in developing countries, including those in South Asia. Women are the worst impacted by such food price vulnerabilities. Policies addressing food insecurity in developing countries do not reach the most deserving families due to poor targeting. My research will address the policy implications of the lapses in the current response to growing food insecurities and associated coping strategies.

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"My workplace interactions with principal investigators from leading policy think tanks made me realize that conducting and leading research at the highest level requires PhD training. I chose UBC because of the wide diversity of Schools and Departments. This is highly attractive for a student of community and regional planning like myself, since planning is essentially a multi-disciplinary field benefiting greatly from specialized knowledge in other disciplines."
 

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

My workplace interactions with principal investigators from leading policy think tanks made me realize that conducting and leading research at the highest level requires PhD training. Doctoral training was therefore a necessary step in my career progression.
 

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

The wide diversity of Schools and Departments at the UBC was highly attractive for a student of community and regional planning like myself, since planning is essentially a multi-disciplinary field benefiting greatly from specialized knowledge in other disciplines.
 

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

The SCARP faculty's broad research expertise and wide geographical focus, extending to South Asia, was a key influence in my decision to apply here given my keen interest in planning and development in countries of the Global South.
 

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

I was quite taken by the natural beauty of the campus and it's proximity to the ocean.
 

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

I'm quite excited about going into the field for primary data collection since it can lead to unanticipated findings that can challenge preexisting ideas.


What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?

I believe a key challenge researchers like myself face is translating their findings into meaningful policy action on the ground.
 

How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?

My program has been very forthcoming about the challenges researchers can face in communicating their policy findings to change-makers on the ground. We have active discussions around steps that can be taken to better address the academic research/policy implementation gap.
 

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

I believe rigorous academic training and practical work experience helped to prepare me for my current PhD program in planning here at the UBC.
 

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

Walks across the beautifully green campus are very enjoyable, especially on a sunny day.
 

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

I believe it's essential to give oneself time to settle down in a new place and program; the environment, the food, everything takes time getting used to. Doctoral programs are a particularly unique academic endeavor, and one should be prepared to take some degree of uncertainty in their stride.