As a dedicated researcher and clinical psychologist with a strong academic foundation rooted in my associations with the International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI), and the Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad along with the Institute of Psychiatry, Rawalpindi Medical University (RMU), Rawalpindi, and Institute of Public Health and Social Sciences, Khyber Medical University (KMU), Peshawar, my journey in the realm of psychology and research has been both enlightening and challenging, filled with countless learning opportunities and milestones.
My introduction to the Covidence Student Ambassador program was serendipitous. The idea of promoting a platform that has helped me a lot with streamlining my systematic review process intrigued me. After a rigorous application and selection process, I was elated to be chosen as an ambassador, marking the beginning of an enriching journey.
Training Sessions Conducted
One of the significant milestones during my tenure as an ambassador was the training session I spearheaded at the Department of Psychology, IIUI. The session was meticulously planned, focusing on the nuances of utilizing Covidence for conducting systematic reviews. The participation and enthusiasm of the students were commendable, making the session both interactive and productive.
Motivation from 1st Session
Being enthusiastic about evidence synthesis and after delivering successful training to junior researchers at IIUI, I noticed the need for additional training to be delivered in Pakistan, and to inform young researchers that Covidence is free in LMICs. As a result, I delivered sessions at the Institute of Psychiatry, RMU, Rawalpindi, Rippah International University Gulberg Green Campus, and KMU, Peshawar, raising awareness among emerging researchers about the use of the user-friendly software Covidence for screening, full-text review, extraction, and risk-of-bias assessment for systematic reviews.
Experiences from the Trainings
Each training session was a unique experience. The participants, with their eagerness to learn, posed thought-provoking questions, leading to insightful discussions. While the journey was mostly smooth, there were challenges. Adapting to the diverse needs of the participants and ensuring the content was universally understood were among them. However, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with participants expressing their gratitude for the insights they gained.
Benefits and Impact of the Program
Being a Covidence Student Ambassador not only augmented my professional skills but also granted me a unique perspective on the significance of systematic reviews in research. The broader impact on the student community was evident, with many expressing their interest in diving deeper into the world of systematic reviews post the training sessions.
I have learned that certain qualities pave the way to success. It starts with having a clear heart and approaching each day with pure and sincere intentions. Adopting a disciplined routine of early sleep and waking up sets the stage for productivity. Engaging in morning exercise invigorates both the body and the mind. A key aspect is helping others selflessly, without any expectations in return. Being hard-working and consistent in our efforts is crucial, as is maintaining self-motivation from within. It is important to focus solely on our own work, completing tasks on time, and managing our time effectively. Being well-organized and presenting ourselves well creates a positive impression. Embracing a positive mindset and having a clear vision with well-defined goals allows us to plan purposefully and work towards them. By embodying these qualities, we unlock the path to success.
"Faith – Unity – Discipline"
I’d like to express my profound gratitude to my parents and siblings, who consistently stood by me, supporting my aspirations, especially during the most challenging moments.
My journey has been significantly influenced by several mentors who believed in my potential. I am immensely grateful to Mr. Mujeeb Masud and Mr. Irshad Ahmad from IIUI. Their guidance introduced me to the world of research, igniting my passion for academic pursuits.
Dr. Gerardo Zavala from the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York has been particularly instrumental. Under his guidance, I have acquired proficiency in various areas, including screening, extraction, risk of bias assessment, RevMan web 5.0, GRADEpro-GDT, and meta-analysis.
Dr. Faiza Mujeeb from RMU, Dr. Amina Khan from The Initiative, and Dr. Faraz Siddiqui from University of York, have provided invaluable guidance with Mr. Mujeeb’s consistent motivation being a significant driving force behind my achievements. Their mentorship alongside that of Dr. Saima Afaq, Dr. Aatik Arsh, Dr. Nauman Arif and Dr. Saima Aleem from KMU, has greatly shaped my professional trajectory.
Lastly, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Razia Aliani, the Community Manager of Covidence, for her outstanding mentorship and efforts in leading the Student Ambassador Program. Her meticulous planning, coordination, unwavering support and dedication ensured effective and well-structured training sessions.
Recognition and Conclusion
Concluding this journey, I was honored with an award presented by several of these esteemed professionals, symbolizing the impact of the sessions I conducted. To all these individuals, I owe immense gratitude for their unwavering support, guidance, and belief in my abilities. Their contributions have been pivotal in both my personal and professional growth.
Reflecting upon this journey, I realize the immense potential and value of such ambassadorship programs in shaping academic and professional trajectories. It was not just about promoting a platform; it was about sharing knowledge, fostering a community, and paving the way for future researchers.