People: Mirela Delibegovic
- Current role:
- Academic (research)
- University of Aberdeen
- Life sciences and health
What motivated you to engage the public with your work?
I have always wanted to get more young people excited about science and to encourage them to become our future scientists and leaders. I started my outreach work during my PhD studies on Saturday mornings, and expanded this to "Girl leadership workshops" and similar during my postdoctoral fellowship in USA, doing outreach in schools in more deprived areas, where science would not be number 1 choice for most students.
Describe the public engagement activity you have done.
1. Murder-mystery Saturday classes at the University of Dundee, with children from Dundee/Angus area schools. "Girl leadership workshops", doing career talks and giving advice on how to obtain funding for University studies and how to progress in the career as well as practical science classes.
2. Outreach to schools as part of Researchers in Residence scheme, doing practical classes of DNA isolation, electrophoresis, blood staining/group determination under microscope.
3. Also acted as a mentor and took in a student into my lab as a part of interdisciplinary project launched by the Scottish Government, called Baccalaureate in Science, the aim of which is to get more young people interested in science. I also give lay talks to Diabetes UK groups in UK in the evenings.
What are your top three tips for other researchers?
1. Be enthusiastic
2. Be interesting
3. Engage with students all the time.
This is a link to my science class in Hazlehead Academy, Aberdeen, where we obtained DNA from bananas.
What would you say to encourage another researcher to engage with the public?
What got me excited about science is meeting a brilliant scientist and seeing how much he loves his job! So I try and do the same - I try and show how every day at work is different and how my work may make people feel better as I do medically relevant research.