Delhi student bags Shah Rukh Khan La Trobe University PhD Scholarship

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Sumaira Khan was awarded the esteemed Shah Rukh Khan La Trobe University PhD Scholarship // Pic supplied

A New Delhi student with a dedication to enhancing health outcomes for marginalised communities has been awarded the esteemed Shah Rukh Khan La Trobe University PhD Scholarship.

The scholarship, valued at over $225,000 (AUD), was presented during a Gala Dinner in Delhi by La Trobe University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Theo Farrell.

Selected from a competitive pool of applicants across India, Sumaira Khan embodies the spirit of humanitarianism and social justice championed by Shah Rukh Khan (SRK), whose achievements inspire this scholarship.

Made possible through La Trobe’s enduring partnership with the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, this scholarship aims to support aspiring female Indian researchers committed to making a meaningful impact on a global scale.

Sumaira Khan’s research will focus on improving healthcare for South Asian migrant women in Australia, particularly those at risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Collaborating with medical anthropologists Dr Tarryn Phillips and Dr Catherine Trundle, Sumaira aims to identify barriers to self-care practices and inform strategies to enhance healthcare accessibility and equity in both Australia and India.

Expressing her gratitude, Sumaira Khan remarked, “I’m very grateful to receive the Shah Rukh Khan scholarship. It’s life-changing for me and my family, and I’m excited to interact with La Trobe’s global community of researchers. It really is my proudest achievement.”

Shah Rukh Khan expressed his delight in supporting Indian women like Sumaira Khan, who are dedicated to addressing global challenges through scientific inquiry. “Sumaira’s passion to improve health outcomes for vulnerable communities is inspiring, and her journey is a wonderful lesson to other Indian women who want to improve lives through scientific study,” he said.

La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Theo Farrell, reiterated the institution’s commitment to empowering students like Sumaira Khan to create positive change in society. He stated, “This ongoing scholarship is testament to the strong relationship and shared vision La Trobe has with Khan to inspire positive change through education and find solutions for some of the most challenging issues facing the world.”

The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Director, Mitu Bhowmick, expressed her appreciation for the collaboration between SRK and La Trobe University, highlighting the transformative opportunities this scholarship provides for young Indian women.

Sumaira Khan’s journey in public health began with her family’s experiences accessing care for her younger brother diagnosed with severe autism. Graduating with a Master of Public Health from Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in 2022, Sumaira has since pursued various research endeavours focused on public health and social development in India.

Sumaira Khan’s scholarship marks the continuation of the legacy established by the inaugural recipient, Gopika Kottantharayil Bhasi, who is making strides in developing field-deployable diagnostic tests for honeybee viruses.


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