Mazharia Rahman is Finance Assistant at the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science Department, Queen Mary University of London.
My work is split between managing general purchasing for the school, making sure all the invoices are processed seamlessly, and looking after grants, ensuring spending is being used according to the grant’s specification and that funds are being used resourcefully.
She works closely with researchers to keep them up to date on the finances of a project.
When a researcher is in the midst of a project, often with teaching duties and other commitments, it can be easy to lose track of spending deadlines.
I keep an eye on what needs to be spent and by when, and remind them if they need to make purchases by a certain date. It ensures funding is not wasted and researchers can focus on their projects.
Growing up in Bangladesh in the 1980s, scientific research was not an area Mazharia envisioned working.
In Bangladesh, the priorities were food, shelter and healthcare, but even when we moved to the UK when I was 10, there was an expectation by the community that I would get married at 16 and focus on family. But my father was a believer in education for women.
Mazharia’s interest in research came to the fore through her four children.
Two of my children were born with rare blood diseases and were cared for by the haemoglobinopathy department at Royal London Hospital. I spent a lot of time researching their conditions and spoke at length with one of the consultants. When a role as a database administrator for his research came up, I felt it was something I could do to help.
Roles such as hers play a crucial part in scientific research, says Mazharia.
I’m not a principal investigator but work such as data collection helps draw up pictures and map research. Making sure paperwork is signed off and compliant, that data is secure and anonymised, takes time and attention to detail. Without it, amazing research would not be able to be published.
Last updated: 28 July 2021