Global research prize for Organ Donation PhD student

Wed 22 September, 2021
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As the NHS promotes Organ Donation Week in the UK (20-26th September), an international student from the University of Bedfordshire has snapped up a top research award for his PhD investigating organ donation in Indian communities.

BritzerEncouraged by his peers and tutors, student Britzer Paul from India entered the CAST2021 Awards (Congress of the Asian Society of Transplantation) with his systematic review titled ‘Barriers towards deceased organ donor registration among Indians living in India and the UK: An integrative systematic review using narrative syntheses’, which is part of his PhD in Organ Donation.

Once shortlisted, Britzer’s research was selected for the ‘Donation and Procurement’ category and he was invited to present to a virtual judging panel, alongside other nominees from countries including China, Japan, Pakistan, Abu Dhabi, India, Malaysia, the Philippines and other Asian countries.

Despite going up against bio-medical scientists, physicians, surgeons, public health scholars and stakeholders from across the globe, Britzer snapped up the ‘Young Investigator’ prize – an achievement he was delighted to secure after his experience as an international student at Bedfordshire.

CAST awardsHe said: “Entering these awards was a great opportunity as it gave me more confidence, as well as recognition in the field of my research. This win does not only help acknowledge my own work and achievements but also the support of my supervisory team and the University of Bedfordshire, which is something to be treasured.”

Britzer arrived in the UK to study with the University’s Institute for Health Research (IHR) just before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. This impacted his university experience as he had to spend a lot of time based either in his accommodation or in lectures and labs, as all social outlets were closed and lot of fellow students were not around. However, Britzer made the most of the situation and spent a lot of time focussing on his studies and volunteering his spare time towards the fight against the pandemic, including sewing facemasks for local healthcare workers and delivering food packages and PPE to those in need in the community.

His supervisor, Professor Gurch Randhawa, was impressed by his positive outlook despite the pandemic, particularly as he had never lived away from home before.

Professor Randhawa, Director of IHR, said: “Britzer is a testament to the University. He is civic-minded, helping local communities during the pandemic by sewing face-masks and distributing food parcels, as well as focused on conducting high quality research via his PhD. The CAST Young Investigator Award is great recognition of the calibre of his PhD studies.”

organ donation weekNow that Britzer is in the final stages of his PhD, he plans to return to India once it is safe for him to travel. Once back home he plans to continue his research to help contribute towards the knowledge and policy around organ donation amongst the Indian population.

For information about PhD and research opportunities with the University’s Institute for Health Research, visit: www.beds.ac.uk/research-ref/ihr 

International applicants who are interested in studying overseas with the University at undergraduate or postgraduate level can find out more by visiting the dedicated International Office webpage or contact the team on +44 (0)1582 489319.

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