Student Profile: Prativa Baral
Prativa Baral, MPH, is a PhD candidate in the Health Systems program whose work focuses primarily on promoting global health equity and health emergency preparedness by working to bridge research, advocacy, and policy. Prativa is an epidemiologist who has served as a global health consultant and expert advisory committee member for various international agencies including the UN, the WHO, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Pandemic Monitoring Board, and the World Bank. Previously, she advised the Government of Canada in designing and drafting the country's first comprehensive global health research strategic plan and served in the Canadian COVID Task Force.
While here at the Bloomberg School, Prativa was the Department of International Health PhD student representative on the Department’s Steering Committee, Co-Chair of the Doctoral Student Council, IH representative for the school-wide PhD Advisory Committee, and Member at Large for the Student Assembly. In addition to being an advocate for fellow students she also advocates for more inclusive youth participation in decision-making, serving as the Canadian head delegate for the 2022 G7 Youth Summit in Germany, and the sole Canadian representative as part of the Global Shapers delegation of young community leaders to the World Economic Forum’s 2023 annual meeting in Davos.
Prativa is the co-founder of Let Science Connect, a social enterprise that bridges science communication gaps between academia and the rest of the world, and a co-founder of Immunocity, Science in A Times of Crisis—an initiative and a podcast that helped make sense of the changing science during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2021, she was the recipient of the prestigious Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research’s Doctoral Foreign Study Award. She’s also received numerous awards at the Bloomberg School, including the Student Assembly’s Student Recognition Award, the Health Systems Program Scholarship, and the Richard H. Morrow Endowed Scholarship Fund in Health Systems. In 2018, Prativa was selected to be a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum, and in 2021, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Looking toward writing her dissertation, Prativa hopes to continue to contribute to improving global health and health emergency policymaking. “I have been privileged to have had so many opportunities. I want other students to know that you get to curate your PhD journey, don’t be afraid to do things outside of your research. Open yourself to other opportunities to make your experience unique and fruitful to make the most out of your time here.”