International Women’s Day 2020: a day in the life of…Rita Faria

In this feature, as part of our focus on gender parity in STEM for International Women’s Day 2020 (8 March), we interview Rita Faria (University of York; UK), exploring what a typical (or not so typical!) day is like.

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Rita Faria is a health economics Research Fellow at the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York (UK).

Faria’s research concerns the cost–effectiveness of health and care interventions, to help inform healthcare policy and clinical guidelines.

1) My alarm goes off…

At 7am. I am not a morning person, so I am lucky that my husband brings me breakfast. I finally get up and rush to be ready and out by 7.45am, to catch the train to York.

2) I’m responsible for…

Doing good quality research that helps inform decisions. My work is varied but centers around cost–effectiveness analysis; I develop cost–effectiveness models, analyze individual level data (often to inform a cost–effectiveness model) and review literature (again, often to inform a cost–effectiveness model…you may spot a theme here!).

3) My typical day…

Starts by getting a cup of tea to energize me to go through my emails. I then start working on my projects. Lately, I have been building a cost–effectiveness model to compare protocols to find people with familial hypercholesterolemia. I’m also working on a project to improve the health and wellbeing of people with leprosy wounds in low- and middle-income countries. This has required a lot of reading on leprosy wounds as well as on the methods to conduct cost–effectiveness analyses in lower income settings.

4) The strangest thing that has happened…

I was attacked by a goose when I was walking to one of the University’s cafes!

5) The best part of my job…

Is learning all the time – there are no two projects that are alike. Every time that I work on a model, on individual patient data or on a review, I always learn something new.

6) The worst part of my job…

It’s really hard to say. My job is brilliant! One thing that could be better, and hopefully is not too difficult to change, is the process of submitting manuscripts to journals. We all spend a lot of time formatting documents, updating referencing styles, moving tables to separate documents…could journals and publishers get together and decide on one set of standardized guidelines?

7) After work…

I travel back home to join my husband for dinner. After dinner, we usually just relax with Netflix, but sometimes I’m out again at meetings as a Parish Councilor for my village.  

8) I always wanted to be

A scholar, to learn something new every day and to help improve people’s lives. I pretty much achieved my dream!  

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