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PhD Student Bokharaie Wins Prestigious Award

Written by: Maryann Kelly
Written on: Friday, 12 July, 2019

Honey Bokharaie, pictured above, at work in the lab at SBI

A first year PhD student in Systems Biology Ireland at University College Dublin was recently awarded a prestigious Government of Ireland International Education Scholarship (GOI-IES). Ms. Honey Bokharaie of Dublin won the highly competitive scholarship worth €10,000, and was ranked 8th overall out of 2,000 applications from over 90 countries.

“To be named a GOI-IES Scholar is truly an incredible achievement and we are thrilled that Honey has received this honour,” said Walter Kolch, director of Systems Biology Ireland.

Bokharaie is originally from Iran, where she studied genetics at the Science and Research Branch of Azad University, Tehran. The aim of the GOI-IES scholarship is to reflect Ireland’s engagement in target partner countries, benefitting not only the student and Ireland, but also the student’s country of origin.

In addition to completing rigorous scientific research at UCD, Bokharaie has also shares her passion for music with the Irish-Iranian community in Dublin. She plays the Santur, a traditional Iranian instrument, and has performed at various Iranian and Irish cultural events, including the Nowruz ceremony in Dublin celebrating Persian New Year.  

“Through music and my passion for science, I connect with people, talk about my Iranian culture, while learning about the culture of my Irish friends,” she said. “I found that by sharing a common joy for music all different languages and cultural barriers are broken down.”

Bokharaie is completing her PhD in Ireland under the supervision of Dr. Jens Rauch, and eventually hopes to apply for further funding to carry out her postdoctoral research in the United States. She said she hopes to use the GOI-IES scholarship to promote Ireland and UCD as a centre of international education.  “I would hope to encourage students and researchers to come to Ireland and enhance their experiences just as I am doing,” she said.

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