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On International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Dr Bauermeister talks to Oxford Science Blog about her route into research – including a 20-year career break to raise and home-educate her seven children.

Sarah Bauermeister

Dr Sarah Bauermeister is a senior data and science manager at Dementias Platform UK, an MRC-funded project based at Oxford University set up to accelerate research into the diagnosis and treatment of dementia.

Q: How did you get into science?

A: Before having children I completed a degree in sports science in South Africa and was intending to travel, but instead I quickly settled in the UK. Later, while home-schooling my children, I worked towards a further degree in psychology, then a master’s – both through the Open University. I specialised in cognitive neuropsychology, focusing on the neurological changes affecting cognition in older adults, and completed my PhD at Brunel University London focusing on lifestyle and fitness as moderators of cognitive decline. I then completed a postdoctoral position investigating cognitive predictors of falls and frailty at the University of Leeds.

Q: Tell us about your first job in science.

A: After a 20-year period during which I studied while raising and home-educating my seven children, I became an early-career scientist in Leeds with people 20 years younger than me. I’d already had my family by that stage, but I found that many of the younger women around me felt they were in a difficult position in this respect.

Read the full interview on the Oxford Science Blog (University of Oxford) website