Dr Musarrat Maisha Reza
Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences | Year 2 Lead for Medical Sciences | Race Equality Resource Officer | Senator
College House, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK
Dr Reza is a Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences and the Race Equality Resource Officer at the Department of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences (CBS) in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences (FHLS). She received her PhD from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore in 2017. She began her lectureship journey in the UK in 2019 and obtained her Fellowship with AdvanceHE, UK in 2021.
She has been elected as a Senator (2022-2026) and sits on the University Education Board- Taught Programmes. She holds several leadership roles in the department as the Year 2 Lead for the Medical Science and SEMS Programmes and department representative on the Faculty Wellbeing, Inclusion and Culture Committee. As a Medical Scientist, she primarily teaches on Disease, Diagnostics and Therapeutics and Introduction to Pharmacology and facilitates problem-based learning for medical students. She is also the Module Lead and tutor on core (CSC2023 Experimental Design and Statistics) and optional modules (CSC2025 Decolonizing Medicine, An Introduction) and a supervisor for postgraduate students on the Masters in Clinical Education programme and final year project students.
Dr Reza has garnered well-rounded expertise in leading and advising strategies on EDI boards and writing EDI policies for academic programmes centering ethnic minority student retention, progression and sense of belonging. At Exeter, she is leading the anti-racist and decolonial movement at the Faculty of Health and Medicine. She is also on the Research and EDI working group to develop a five-year action plan for the university to make the research environment at Exeter more inclusive, equitable and just. Her work is directly aligned with the university's Success for All strategy and the vision to ‘Lead the progress towards creating a fair, socially just and inclusive society’. She represents Exeter on the UK Medical Schools Council (MSC) EDI Alliance, providing practical guidance to support medical schools to become fair, diverse and inclusive environments and currently co-chairs the Decolonizing the Medical Curricula Working Group on the MSC EDI Alliance.
Outside academia, Dr Reza remains stalwart in her advocacy for youth rights and participation in decision making. She served as the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Students’ Association representing the needs and aspirations of national student councils in the Commonwealth. She is also an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society. She served as a Founding Board of Trustees of the 100 Million Campaign, advocating for young people to be free, safe and educated. She was nominated as an ASEAN Youth Fellow and appointed as a Youth Representative on the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report Advisory Board.
Dr Reza has represented young people on high-level international panels, education ministers across the Commonwealth and to decision makers globally. Of note, she was invited to speak at a United Nations High-Level Event on Global Citizenship Education. While working in the academia, she, retains her passion for global advocacy and representation on issues close to her heart.
- Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, AdvanceHE, UK, 2021
- Postgraduate Certificate of Higher Education Practice (PGCert HEP), University of East Anglia, UK, 2019-2021
- Doctor of Philosophy, School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 2017
- Bachelor of Science (Hons), School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 2013
- Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences, Education and Scholarship, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK, Feb 2022 -
- Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences, Education and Scholarship, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK, 2020-2022
- Lecturer in Biomedicine, Academic Teaching and Scholarship, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, 2019-2020
- Skeletal Muscle Biologist, Research Fellow, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, 2017-2019
- Medical Schools Council EDI Alliance, University of Exeter EDI Lead, UK
- Co-chair, Decolonizing Medical Curricula Network, MSC EDI Alliance, UK
- Academic Intersectionality Mentoring in Medical School, Founding Committee, UK [LINK]
Leadership (University of Exeter)
- Senator (2022-2026)
- Member of the University Education Board- Taught Programmes
- Underrepresented Students Working Group, Success for All
- Research & EDI Working Group, subgroup of the Research and Impact Executive Committee [LINK]
- CBS Representative on the Faculty Wellbeing, Inclusion and Culture Committee (WICC)
Student Impact on Higher Education Globally (SIHEG)
The SIHEG research project examines student agency in higher education, maps existing opportunities for students to influence higher education and societies more broadly and investigates student perceptions of impact.
A collaborative project between researchers from Harvard University and the Global Student Forum representing 196 student unions across 119 countries.
| Overview | Researchers | Personal Profile |
THE Campus, Times Higher Education Articles
1. Reza, Musarrat Maisha (2022, April 13). Decolonising medicine, part one: taking the first steps. THE Campus Learn, Share, Connect | Times Higher Education. Retrieved from https://www.timeshighereducation.com/campus/decolonising-medicine-part-one-taking-first-steps
2. Reza, Musarrat Maisha (2022, April 14). Decolonising medicine, part two: empowering students. THE Campus Learn, Share, Connect | Times Higher Education. Retrieved from https://www.timeshighereducation.com/campus/decolonising-medicine-part-two-empowering-students
3. Reza, Musarrat Maisha (2022, June 9). Decolonising medicine, part three: uncovering the full picture with silenced voices and histories. THE Campus Learn, Share, Connect | Times Higher Education. Retrieved from https://www.timeshighereducation.com/campus/decolonising-medicine-part-three-uncovering-full-picture-silenced-voices-and-histories
4. Reza, Musarrat Maisha (2022, July 6). Decolonising your learning resources: representation matters. THE Campus Learn, Share, Connect | Times Higher Education. Retrieved from https://www.timeshighereducation.com/campus/decolonising-your-learning-resources-representation-matters
Research Advisory Boards
Making environmental and health equal, diverse, and inclusive: Reflections from a Centre of Environment and Human Health (REACH), Expert Advisory Board
Led by Professor Lora Fleming from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health. A grant of £100,000 has been awarded by the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
Researcher-led Initiative (RLI) Award 2020/2021, Doctoral College, University of Exeter
Building a cross-college ECR community through Diversity, Inclusion, Cohesion and Equality (DICE) training.
Funded by the University of Exeter Researcher Development and Research Culture team.
1. Reza, Musarrat Maisha (2021, August 12). A new Global Youth Development Index shows improvement in the state of 1.8 billion young people around the world. World Education Blog. https://gemreportunesco.wordpress.com/2021/08/12/a-new-global-youth-development-index-shows-improvement-in-the-state-of-1-8-billion-young-people-around-the-world/
Publications by category
Publications by year
External Engagement and Impact
1. UNESCO Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Advisory Board (Link) I 2021– 2022 I
The GEM Report’s aims to serve as the main resource for decision makers who seek comparative research and knowledge to inform their actions on inclusive and equitable quality education at national, regional and global levels.
2. Founding Board of Trustees, 100 Million Campaign (Link) | 2020 – Present |
A campaign for every child to be free, safe and educated globally.
3. Chairperson, Commonwealth Students’ Association (CSA) | 2018 – Present |
Empowering the students of the Commonwealth to influence change in education, contribute to their societies and amplify the student voice.
4. Associate Fellow, Royal Commonwealth Society | 2018- Present |
Committing to the Commonwealth values and improving the lives of Commonwealth citizens.
5. Finalist, 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders Award | 2018 – Present |
This award recognizes and celebrates exceptional young people across the Commonwealth, who are taking the lead in their communities and using their skills to transform lives.
6. Global Youth Ambassador, A World at School, Theirworld | 2017 – 2021 |
A worldwide network of over 700 young advocates and campaigners supporting the movement to get every child into school.
7. Leader of Tomorrow Alumni, 46th St. Gallen Symposium | 2017- Present |
Advocating for gender equality, equal opportunities and resources for women.
Keynote addresses or prestigious public lectures given in international forums
1. BBC World Questions: Is the Commonwealth of Nations still relevant? |2022|
World Questions is a series of international events created in partnership with the British Council. Following the Commonwealth Heads of Government conference in Rwanda and in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, Anita Anand presents this special edition of World Questions.
| BBC Sounds- World Questions Episode |
2. Mobilising resources for education: the crucial role of Commonwealth countries |2021|
Discussing innovative financing for education at a virtual roundatble, an official side-event of the Global Education Summit 2021, hosted by the UK Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Boris Johnson and Kenyan President, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta.
| Press Release and Video |
3. Climate Action: The Role for Education |2021|
Representing the Global Student Forum to share the student perspective on climate education for children and young people on a high level panel co-organized by OECD – Education International- UNESCO.
| Concept Note | Press Release |
4. Universities: Past, Present, And Future, Harvard University |2021|
Student Impact On Higher Education Globally- Perspectives from Leaders of Regional Student Union Federations And The Global Student Forum. Seminar Sponsored by Mahindra Humanities Centre.
| Webpage | Speaker Bios |
5. Laureates and Leaders, Fair Share for Children Summit |2020|
Speaking alongside Nobel Laureates and World Leaders on 'The Education Crisis: How to Ensure We Don't Lose A Generation Due to The Pandemic'.
Programme | Speakers | Profile Page | Meeting Report | Press Release
6. BBC News, Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), London |2018|
Interviewed by BBC News, as Chair of the CSA to speak about the role of young people making positive change across the Commonwealth and the relevance of the Commonwealth to young people.
[Link to Video]
7. Opening Ceremony, Commonwealth Youth Forum, London |2018|
Hosting the Opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Youth Forum, introducing the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, Chair of the British Youth Council, Chair of the Commonwealth Youth Council, United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.
[Link to Video]
8. Foreign Ministerial Presentation, Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, London |2018|
Presenting recommendations from young people and students as the Chair of CSA to Foreign Ministers across the Commonwealth on issues such as TVET, gender equality and enabling students have a voice at the decision-making table.
9. Opening Ceremony, Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers, Fiji |2018|
Welcome address as Chair of CSA in the opening ceremony of the IPF, together with Rt. Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth and Honorable. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Attorney-General & Minister for Education, Government of Fiji.
10. Youth Respondent, United Nations SDG High Level Event, New York |2017|
Invited to speak at the United Nations High Level Education Event at the UN Headquarters in New York to provide policy recommendations on global citizenship education.
[Link to Video]
Conferences, Panels and Invited Presentations
1. Keynote Speaker at Clinical Education Day, Training and Retaining Our Workforce |September 2022| [LINK]
Delivering a keynote speech titled, 'Looking into our blindspots for active inclusion' and a workshop titled 'Navigating Microaggressions on Clinical Placements'. Conference organized by Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA), Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University.
2. Teaching and Learning Symposium 2022, University of East London |September 2022| [LINK]
Presenting a seminar on 'Designing a module on decolonization'
3. THE Campus+ Webinar: Decolonising the Curriculum |July 2022| [LINK]
Times Higher Education Campus Webinar hosted by Eliza Compton
4. Navigating Anti-racism at the College of Medicine and Health |September 2021| [LINK]
Anti-Racist Practice in Medical Education (ARPME) 2021, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
5. CMH Journey Towards Anti-racism, Ongoing Victories and Challenges |July 2021| [LINK]
Decolonize STEMEXE Seminar and Discussion Series, University of Exeter
6. International Women's Day, Choose to Challenge |July 2021|
College of Medicine and Health IWD Panelist.
7. Unconscious Bias in Your Workplace |March 2021| [LINK]
The Inclusivity Project, The European Centre for Environment and Human Health
8. How a Predominantly White Faculty Can Empower BAME Students |February 2021| [LINK]
The Inclusivity Project, The European Centre for Environment and Human Health
9. Investigating our Unconscious Biases, Empowering BAME Students |November 2020| [LINK]
Faculty Development Educational Seminar Series, College of Medicine and Health
1. ELEVATE, Nov 2021- May 2022
Leadership and development programme For Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women
2. Exercising Leadership: Foundational Principles, HarvardX, edX, April 2021
Verified edX Credentials
3. The Leadership Difference, University of Exeter, Spring 2021
Leadership development programme for departmental leadership teams, Associate Deans, Heads of Department and Directors (Education, Research & Impact).
1. Driven Women Podcast |2019|
Episode 4: Redefining The ‘F’ Word for The Modern Woman
Hosted by Sophia Bryan, to explore the success stories of women leaders from all over the globe who have overcome the hurdles in fields typically dominated by men.
[Listen to Podcast]
2. Better Angels Podcast |2018|
Hosted by Theirworld President, Sarah Brown, celebrating the activist spirit of youth working to make a positive impact.
[Listen to Podcast]
Medical Sciences and SEMS, Undergraduate
- Year 2 Lead for Medical Sciences
- Module Lead: Experimental Design and Statistics, CSC2023 | Year 2 |
- Module Lead: Decolonizing Medicine, An Introduction CSC2025 | Year 2 |
- Disease, Diagnostics and Therapeutics, SSGL, CSC2012 | Year 2 |
- Introduction to Pharmacology, CSC2005 | Year 2 |
- Fundamental Skills for Medical Scientists, CSC1004 | Year 1 |
- Academic Tutor Group, Medical Sciences & SEMS | Year 1, Year 2 & Year 3 |
- Final Year Project, CSC3028 & CSC3029 | Year 3 |
- Problem Based Learning, BMBS | Year 1 |
- Special Study Units, BMBS | Year 1 |
- Independent Research Project Supervision, Masters of Clinical Education, HPDM135
- Researching Clinical Education, PGCert of Clinical Education, HPDM061
Supervision / Group
- Sint Sint : Current Student AY2021-2022
- Yinka Umeh : Current Student AY2021-2022
- Vaani Mahapatra Effect of white and other than white students’ placement experiences on perceived learning outcomes |2021|