Sadaf in front of a research poster

Each year the University of Waterloo hosts a Gradflix competition and invites graduate students across campus to submit a one-minute video about their research. This year, pharmacy PhD candidate Sadaf Faisal won first place in the competition with an animated short discussing her research on smart technology and medication management.

Check out her winning video and some of the lessons learned from the Gradflix experience:  

Remote video URL

UW: What made you decide to enter the Gradflix competition this year?

Sadaf: I really liked the challenge to sum up the whole PhD thesis project in one minute. I thought let's see if I can do this or not, and I was very proud of myself when I submitted the video as I was able to do that.

I was not even thinking of the competition or winning at that point - it was more like how can I say everything in 1 minute and make it simple enough so people from non-pharmacy or non-medical background can understand it.

UW: What inspired you to conduct research on medication management tools?

Sadaf: Throughout my professional career, I have worked in diverse positions in community, hospital, primary care and long-term care settings. In my previous role as a board-certified geriatric pharmacist, I was repeatedly exposed to various patient populations with complex medication regimens and multiple co-morbidities. I also encountered significant problems with poly-pharmacy, adverse drug management, and medication adherence issues in the geriatric patient population.

These issues formed the foundation of my interest in pursuing further research to understand medication management issues and to find effective solutions that can be implemented at the practice level.

UW: The Gradflix competition is a great example of knowledge translation and communicating research to a lay audience. What are your thoughts about the importance of knowledge translation in health research?

Sadaf: Knowledge translation (KT) in health research is significantly important. If we are not able to describe what we are investigating in research world, the change at practice level will not be easy to achieve. KT is the way to connect the research world to the practice world. What's the point of doing all the research if we can't make any changes at the practice level?

Other stakeholders such as policy makers, patient and their caregivers are not always from the same field as the researchers are so communication is a key. 

UW: What advice do you have for grad students who are considering entering Gradflix?

Sadaf: I would encourage all the grad students to take part in this competition. At Waterloo Pharmacy, all of us are involve in such cool projects and people should know about them. It was a great experience and fun activity, and it gives you a sense of pride when you tell the others about the work you are involved in. I had a lot of fun in this competition.