Najma used her Aspire award to fund her university education to study for a career in pharmacology.


Inspired by the life-changing impact of medical research, Najma of Hayes in Middlesex, has begun her pharmacology course at University College London with the first year of tuition paid for by her ‘Your Degree’ Aspire Award.

She will be the first person in her family to go to university and without our funding would otherwise have struggled to pay her tuition fees.

“It’s going to take four years of study and I’m hoping to complete a masters. If I can carry out research that helps even just one person, then it’ll be worth it,” said Najma.

The 18-year-old recently achieved A*s in all three of her A-levels in biology, chemistry, and psychology.

She added: “When I was at secondary school, I was able to do some shadowing at the gene therapy unit at University College London. I was told about a person who had been blind before but whose eyesight had returned because of gene therapy. That really got me fascinated in the subject and how it can help people.

“This work is about creating hope. I don’t want doctors to have to tell people there is no cure for people’s conditions, or nothing to help improve their quality of life when there could be.”

She added:

I’m really grateful to The Guinness Partnership for their Aspire Award funding. I think there are lot of people on low incomes who, without this kind of financial support, just wouldn’t be able to do anything like this.

How to apply for an Aspire Award

You can apply for an award by completing an application form. You’ll need to let us know exactly what you want the funding for, so make sure you’ve found the course you want to complete, how much the equipment you need will be, or what your community project will cost.

Click here to apply for an Aspire Award.