Trinidadian Priya Maharaj was part of the first cohort of the Oxford Online Programme in Sleep Medicine started by our Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute (SCNi) in 2016. She achieved a Distinction in the MSc, winning Somerville's Archibald Jackson Prize, which was established in 1998 by an alumna in memory of her father. Priya was also awarded the Thomas Willis Prize in Sleep Medicine for being the top-performing MSc student of the 2016-2018 cohort.
For me, one of the highlights was being in a class with many nationalities represented, with brilliant classmates from a diverse range of disciplines (practice and research) engaging in healthy discussion and debate for two years – a true rarity in science.
- Priya Maharaj
Priya is a clinical/developmental psychologist and researcher based in Trinidad. She was able to pursue the MSc in Sleep Medicine, accessing the most cutting-edge science presented by world-class experts, from her home country. Lectures were presented in a pre-recorded format, with input from the core team, as well as from other leading experts in the field – students could engage with the materials anytime and anywhere. There was no shortage of opportunity for feedback, questions, discussion and real interdisciplinary dialogue.
Priya explains: 'The Oxford Online Programme in Sleep Medicine has successfully turned on its head traditional models of top-down only knowledge transfer by allowing its diverse student body to share their clinical and research experiences through weekly seminars and formal/informal discussion. This knowledge is then transferred to local clinics and researchers. My dissertation supervisor gave me wholehearted support to ground my work in the Caribbean context – to begin to create knowledge related to sleep medicine in a student’s cultural and/or national context, thereby building up the science of sleep from many sources.'
'It remains a privilege to have had the opportunity to pursue the MSc in Sleep Medicine – an experience that will continue to shape my personal and professional growth.'