Two Newton Bhabha PhD scholars for IBERS

Sabiha Khatoon and Aiswarya Girija

Sabiha Khatoon and Aiswarya Girija

19 August 2015

The International Office in conjunction with IBERS has been successful in recruiting two Newton Bhabha Phd Scholars, making Aberystwyth the only Welsh University to host students under this scheme from India.

Sabiha Khatoon, from Aligarh Muslim University and Aiswarya Girija, of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, are among 26 gold medallists, competitively selected from hundreds of applicants, who were successful in their application to conduct part of their research at a UK institution. They are currently based in Aberystwyth and will return to India to continue their research in November.

The Newton Bhabha Fund is administered by British Council India and aims to bring together the UK and Indian scientific research and innovation sectors to find joint solutions to the challenges facing India in economic development and social welfare.

The scheme is part of the UK’s £375 million Newton Fund to support science and innovation partnerships between the UK and emerging powers. Students on the Newton Bhabha PhD Placements Programme spend a period of their study (3 to 6 months) in Indian and UK higher education institutions.

Professor Chris Thomas, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research said: “We are delighted to welcome the Newton Bhabha Phd Scholars Sabiha Khatoon and Aiswarya Girija. IBERS is an internationally-recognised research and teaching centre, providing a unique base for research in response to global challenges such as food security, bioenergy and sustainability, and the impacts of climate change. With 360 members of staff, IBERS is the largest Institute within the University, and is committed to international research and partnership, especially with India.”

Responding to the changes in overall International student recruitment trends, the International Office has placed significant emphasis on the promotion of the University’s research strengths internationally, much of which has been via university partnership activity. The International Office and IBERS now look forward to designing a dedicated plan, to further solidify connections in India with the aim of forming research-led collaborations with some of the elite Indian Institutes under this scheme.