Early Career Researcher spotlight – Thazin La
22 August 2023
Hello, I am Thazin La, research manager for the health systems research programme at Burnet Institute Myanmar. In ReBUILD, I am the focal point for project management and research-related field activities in my country. I am an active member of the consortium working groups for capacity strengthening, monitoring and evaluation, and gender, equity and justice, and am an early career researcher.
Expectations and my learning curve
As a young researcher in the consortium, my expectation was that I would learn about health system thinking and research capabilities from renowned health system experts. Certainly, the experience of working in ReBUILD has been beyond my expectations, as I have gained not only knowledge but also skills in methodology, communications and coordinating with different working groups. However, most of all I have learned from the communities we work with and the people on the ground.
This consortium is unique. It has several working groups with different areas of expertise in health system building and co-creation and I have learnt much from them. For example, I was aware of gender concepts before, but this consortium has pushed my boundaries to think about my work from a gender perspective and has equipped me with analytical skills to mainstream gender in all my research projects.
As the learner
As an early career researcher, I have been fortunate to be able to speak about, learn, share and work together with my fellow researchers, and have received guidance when needed from senior researchers as well. Another capacity that I have developed is presentation and communication skills which were very weak. I am now able to present with confidence because I get good feedback and positive criticism from experts in communication skills. I have gained much knowledge about the use of communication channels which I had previously not thought about, and learned about their importance in the dissemination of our research and findings to the international community and online audiences.
Feeling on joining the consortium’s ECR group
As a member of the Early Career Research group, I have enjoyed working with colleagues and have felt welcomed. The group has good teamwork and we have a mutual understanding and respect for each other. Working together is a pleasant experience and I feel very comfortable discussing and sharing ideas with fellow members. I hope that in future, when we are no longer bound by our membership of the consortium, that we will be able to connect and work with each other to strengthen the health systems in our fragile and shock-prone settings.
While working with this consortium I have been inspired by my colleagues and wanted to expand my intellectual abilities by obtaining a PhD in the field of health systems research. I feel that I am on the right career development path, surrounded by many eminent and dedicated researchers from whom I can learn so much.
Meet other early career researchers at ReBUILD
Wesam Mansour at LSTM, UK
Giulia Loffreda at QMU, UK
Shophika Regmi at HERD International, Nepal