Sumaira Khan awarded $225,000 Shah Rukh Khan-La Trobe University PhD Scholarship

The four-year scholarship aims to support aspiring female Indian researchers like Sumaira, who is passionate about improving health outcomes for vulnerable communities.

India Australia’s importance of education relationship in fostering positive change got a new boot as Sumaira Khan was awarded the Shah Rukh Khan La Trobe University PhD Scholarship during a Gala Dinner in New Delhi.

The scholarship, valued at over $225,000, is in recognition of Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan’s contributions to humanitarian and social justice efforts. La Trobe University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Theo Farrell, presented the scholarship to Khan, who was selected from a competitive pool of candidates across India.

Professor Theo Farrell highlighted the scholarship’s alignment with La Trobe’s mission to inspire change through education and solve pressing global challenges.

“This ongoing scholarship is a testament to the strong relationship and shared vision La Trobe has with Mr Khan to inspire positive change through education and find solutions for some of the most challenging issues facing the world,”

Professor Farrell said.
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“We are delighted to welcome Sumaira to La Trobe.”

Image Source: Supplied

Sumaira Khan expressed her gratitude for the life-changing opportunity, stating,

“It’s life-changing for me and my family, and I’m excited to interact with La Trobe’s global community of researchers.”

“So grateful to the panel of Professors and Seniors at La Trobe University who considered my application worthy of receiving this award, and to the Baad-Shah, our dear SRK – for making it happen!” she said.

The four-year scholarship aims to support aspiring female Indian researchers like Sumaira, who is passionate about improving health outcomes for vulnerable communities. Her research at La Trobe University in Melbourne will focus on healthcare improvements for South Asian migrant women in Australia at risk of Type 2 diabetes. Under the guidance of medical anthropologists Dr. Tarryn Phillips and Dr. Catherine Trundle, Sumaira’s study will explore self-care practices and strategies for enhancing healthcare access and equity.

Shah Rukh Khan, whose philanthropic work includes establishing the Meer Foundation to aid women survivors of acid attacks in India, shared his delight in supporting Indian women’s development through this scholarship.

“Sumaira’s passion to improve health outcomes for vulnerable communities is inspiring,”

said Shahrukh Khan, emphasizing the scholarship’s role in addressing broader global issues.

The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Director, Mitu Bhowmick, also acknowledged La Trobe’s continued support in enhancing educational opportunities for Indian women.

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“I am delighted our festival has been able to bring together SRK and La Trobe University for this scholarship, which provides life-changing opportunities for young Indian female students and inspires future generations,” she said.

La Trobe University PhD Scholarship recipient Sumaira Khan; Image Source: Supplied

Sumaira Khan’s journey to this scholarship began with her personal experiences navigating healthcare for her brother with severe autism, leading to her passion for public health. A recent Master of Public Health graduate from Mumbai’s Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Khan has engaged in various research projects focusing on healthcare system strengthening and early childhood development.

The first recipient of the Shah Rukh Khan La Trobe University PhD Scholarship, Gopika Kottantharayil Bhasi, is currently advancing her research on honeybee virus diagnostics and therapies, showcasing the scholarship’s impact on addressing critical environmental and health issues.

The university’s commitment to Indian culture and education is evident through its significant contributions and the success of initiatives like the Shah Rukh Khan La Trobe University PhD Scholarship.

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