Side by side photos of Spatika Jayaram and Minha Khan

LMH graduate students Spatika Jayaram (2022, MSt Neuroscience) and Minha Khan (2022, MSt Social Policy and Intervention) have been awarded prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarships by the University of Cambridge.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship programme was established with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and each year it offers around 80 fully-funded scholarships to outstanding candidates from countries outside of the UK to pursue their postgraduate degrees. The scholarships are awarded to applicants who show outstanding ability and leadership potential and whose research demonstrates a commitment to improving the lives of others.

Spatika (in the photo above left) will pursue a PhD in Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at Magdalene College. Currently a Felix Scholar in Neuroscience at LMH, Spatika’s focus during her Masters course has been on examining how brain circuits contribute to mood disorders.

For her PhD, Spatika hopes to explore how developmental changes in brain regions can lead to the adolescent onset of neuropsychiatric disorders, before adulthood. Through her research, she will explore how critical periods of development shape prefrontal circuitries. The prefrontal cortex is a highly heterogenous structure implicated in depressive disorders. She hopes to identify how specific social behaviours emerge when parts of this region come online and arrive at a basis for how they differ across maturational periods.

Minha (in the photo above right), who joined LMH as part of the Oxford Pakistan Programme, will study for a PhD in Education at St Edmund’s College. Minha works at the intersection of research, policy, and design, looking at how to promote equitable access to education. She has previously explored how schooling in a child’s non-native language can make learning inaccessible, how household and gender norms complicate accessing higher education for female students, and the impact of funding and governance on the success of schools. At the heart of her work is a commitment to positively contribute to the educational ecosystem of Pakistan.

We’d like to congratulate both Spatika and Minha on their achievements and wish them all the best in their future studies.