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UKRI placement for physics student

7 March 2024

Aziza is the first Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) national to join the UK government’s research funding agency.

Aziza Saif al Mugheiry is spending the third year of her BSc Physics with Astronomy with Professional Placement degree investigating particle physics at a world-leading UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) research institution.

She is working on a variety of projects including developing courses from Elementary Scattering Theory to Neutron Reflectometry at the ISIS Neutron & Muon Source at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire.

Aziza said: “I develop scientific training modules aimed at researchers, including biologists, who lack the understanding of physics required for subatomic particle experiments.”

“The placement is going marvellously. It's such a wonderful and delightful community of scientists and researchers”.

Aziza’s role came about through a lead from Senior Lecturer and Head of the Physics Education Research Group Dr Andrea Jimenez Dalmaroni.

Dr Jimenez Dalmaroni said: “Professional placements are incredibly valuable opportunities for physics and astronomy students, as they provide real-world experience of physics in the workplace. This allows the students to consolidate invaluable scientific skills, become self-directed learners and creative and innovative thinkers".

"Year placements also help students identify careers they might follow in the future and are a real stand-out feature in a CV. I'm delighted that Aziza was able to secure such a heavily sought-after placement, and that it's going so well.”

Aziza said: “I initially found out about the opportunity at UKRI through a coursework assignment.

“My senior lecturer recognised my potential and encouraged me to apply for the placement. After a few months, I got called in for an interview and shortly after I was offered the position while attending an astrophysics lab.”

An Omani national, Aziza’s success has been lauded by the press in the Gulf state as the first GCC national to join UKRI.

A non-departmental body of the UK government, UKRI is the largest funder of research in the UK. Its funding support also covers the STFC, under whose auspices the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories operate.

In the future, Aziza would like to undertake a PhD physics or the philosophy of physics.

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