siaa_logo_blue Sanaz Vafaei sanaz_circle

University of British Columbia

Vancouver, Canada

PhD student



She is an Astronomer: How many years since you got your maximum degree?

Sanaz Vafaei: I am a 4th year PhD candidate.


 SIAA: Do you feel it was more difficult for you to get a job or a promotion in comparison with male astronomers?

SV: I believe there are no biases in accepting female graduate students at UBC.


SIAA: Are women under-represented in your institution?

SV: As far as faculty members goes I would say yes. However the number of female students in astronomy is actually by far more then the male students.


SIAA: Have you had any career breaks?

SV: No, I never had career breaks. I've been a student continuously since elementary school!


SIAA: How many hours per day do you normally dedicate to work?

SV: Combining research and teaching I work between 8-10 hours a day. I stay extra hours out of interest.


SIAA: What would most help you advance your career?

SV: I would say using the time you have most efficiently.


SIAA: What recommendation would you make to young women starting their career in astronomy?

SV: I think everyone should follow their passion. Especially in research passion is the key to push forward and obtain more skills. You have to be patient and learn from your mistakes. I strongly believe there are no significant biases on women proceeding a career in astronomy. If science is your passion and you are willing to work hard as a researcher then you are half of the way there. The rest are skills and knowledge which you will pick up along the way.