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Elpida picks up top academic award

A Leicester researcher has been presented with a prestigious national award in recognition of academic and scientific excellence.

Elpida Vounzoulaki, a PhD Researcher in Diabetes Epidemiology, received an Honourable Mention Award in the Natural and Life Sciences category of the 10th Doctoral Researcher Awards (DRA) 2021.

The University of Leicester researcher is studying a PhD investigating type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes, which has been funded by ARC EM. She is looking at uptake to screening, progression rates and costs in her research.

The award was for her study published by The BMJ which showed women with a previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes have almost a tenfold higher risk of going on to develop type 2 diabetes.

Elpida attended a virtual ceremony on Monday, September 11, where she presented a poster and discussed her research in networking rooms with fellow academics.

DRA is a UK-wide academic competition which is awarded annually to junior researchers who are pursuing, or have recently completed, doctoral degrees in the UK.  It has been organised annually since 2012. DRA's purpose is to promote and reward academic and scientific excellence among young researchers who will be the world class academics of the future.

Elpida said: “It was a great pleasure to receive an Honourable Mention Award for the category of Natural and Life Sciences at the 10th Doctoral Researcher Awards 2021. I am extremely grateful for all the support I have received from my supervisors, colleagues and friends at the Diabetes Research Centre, University of Leicester during the course of my PhD which has allowed me to pursue a broad range of opportunities, learn, and grow both personally and professionally.’’

Professor Kamlesh Khunti, who is the Director of ARC EM, Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine at the University of Leicester and Elpida’s PhD supervisor, said: “Elpida is a shining star who will go far. This award is fully deserved and is recognition of Elpida’s talents in research as well as her endeavour and commitment to her research.”

Dr Clare Gillies, Lecturer in Medical Statistics at the University of Leicester, Elpida’s primary supervisor, said: “I am very proud of Elpida and all she has achieved during her PhD. She works extremely hard and this award is very well earned.”

Elpida has also just been selected to be part of the Cochrane Early Career Professionals Steering Group as one of the five members. This is a global group of researchers that meet a few times a year virtually and discuss on matters such as patient and public involvement in research as well as research transparency and dissemination.

Published on: 28 Oct 2021