Trainee Spotlight: Q&A with Lavanya Huria

Friday, September 20, 2019











 Lavanya Huria is a Research Assistant at the CLSA's Statistical Analysis Centre

What is your name?

Hi! My name is Lavanya Huria, and I am 21 years old. I am majoring in Economics with minors in Statistics and Management at McGill University, so my classes are generally quite varied. I am originally from India, but I moved to Dubai in 2005, and I grew up there before moving to Montreal for my undergraduate degree.

Do you have any idea about what kind of job you’d like to do when you finish school?

I think this question is very interesting because most people in the past used to know what type of job they’d like to do and worked really hard towards that one goal. However, when I was
younger, my primary school teacher showed us a video about technology, and it explained that most of the jobs that we will be doing in the future haven’t even been invented yet! Therefore, I don’t know what job I’d be a perfect fit for, and this is the case for a lot of people of my generation. That being said, I know that I want to work in development and social epidemiology, working with data and information, guiding policies and changes to create a more sustainable and equitable world for the underprivileged. I want to learn a lot first, and then later in my career, I do want to become a professor and hopefully teach about what I have learnt.

What interested you about the CLSA?

The CLSA seemed like a perfect fit for where I am in my career right now. Being a student, I still have a lot of technical skills to learn, and these skills are being practiced with relevant context, because we are working with data concerning health and social factors affecting people right now. The CLSA is doing the very important function of collecting and distributing data, so that researchers can answer questions that will help create a change for the better. It’s all one big process, and I want to contribute to all the links of the chain throughout my whole career, so this seemed like the perfect place to start, because I can only grow with a solid foundation.

What do you do at the CLSA as part of your summer job?

I am working on multiple tasks. I completed two background research reports. Both topics were quite different and required me to look up a lot of academic research papers and methodologies of studies similar to the CLSA to make some suggestions; regarding the process of merging data from two waves, for example. I have recently also started working with the actual data, and contributing to making it research ready, so I am excited to start this new project.

How do you think the findings using CLSA data will be useful to you, or others, in the future?

The findings of the CLSA are so significant. The questionnaire itself is extensive, and all the participants contribute so much more than just data. Researchers will conduct analyses and write research papers based on the information collected, which might guide policy changes and shed light on a problem that was otherwise hidden, and in the future, students and other researchers will use these original papers to construct new research topics and find answers to questions that have not even been imagined yet.

What is a non-career related thing that you are grateful for because of your job at the CLSA?

If I wasn’t employed here, I probably would have had to go home to Dubai. Because of the CLSA, I got the opportunity to spend my first summer in Montreal, and it was great! It helped me decide that I want to stay in Montreal after graduation.


The CLSA is dedicated to establishing an innovative, interdisciplinary training environment for the ongoing engagement of new and emerging researchers, as well as maximizing the use of the CLSA platform as a rich resource of data for the next generation of researchers in health and aging.