Maria Julia Milano
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR ROLE
I am currently working in a prostate cancer clinical study called ProMPT as an administrator. My job has to main components: helping to ensure that the study fulfils requirements through quality assurance activities, and planning, organising, and prioritising tasks to oversight the study activities.
Explaining how I got to where I am now, it is a long story. I always knew I wanted to be a doctor. I graduated as a Health Promoter, Epidemiology Technician, and as a Medical Doctor. Later, I specialised in Internal Medicine.
Due to family life, I moved to the UK in 2016, and my career path was put to a test. My initial idea was to validate my MD degree and work as a physician in the UK. Although I did obtain registration and a licence to work as a medic, I was constantly tempted by the range of career possibilities offered here, especially concerning research.
I accepted a research assistant position at the University of Oxford which exposed me to the importance of gender equity, open access, patient involvement, ethics, and education in biomedical research. My manager at the time was fantastic. She became my career mentor and encouraged me to keep researching my career options. It was then that I decided to train in Planning and Managing Clinical Trials. Once I finished my training, I accepted a post as a Quality Assurance Assistant at ProMPT study. Earlier this year, I was promoted to ProMPT administrator.
The Medical Sciences Division at the University of Oxford is recognised for its research excellence and has been placed multiple times at the top in many local and international rankings for its quality. Even though I am not hands-on the research, people in jobs positions like mine are essential to support researchers, protect research participants, and achieve these high-quality standards that make us all proud.
WHAT IS THE MOST MEANINGFUL ASPECT OF YOUR WORK?
Research participants are an essential part of clinical research, and it always amazes how embedded is in them the sense of social benefit that research brings to our community. Being part of a group of colleagues who work towards guaranteeing and protecting participant’s wishes, is the most meaningful aspect of my work.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOMETHING YOU'VE DONE, CONTRIBUTED TO THAT YOU'RE MOST PROUD OF?
I will always be proud of my involvement in a charity that supported local state libraries. Even though it was hard as I was exhausted from my studies and later, my work; I did this during my last two years of university and until I moved to the UK. I was supporting an honourable cause that continues to ensure access to educational resources free of charge and contributes to connecting the community.
WHAT CHANGES WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO SEE IN THE MEDICAL SCIENCES IN THE NEXT 100 YEARS?
I would like the Division to continue working to maintain its research excellence and their commitment towards equality and diversity. Even though a broader social change is necessary, I would like to live in a place where gender equity and diversity is finally a reality and not a goal.