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Alice Porter

PhD student

Children, young people & families programme

University of Bristol

Research Interests

Nutrition and physical activity, obesity prevention and child health

Alice's Q&A

  • What has been your career journey so far?

    Before starting my PhD in SPHR, I worked as a fieldworker in the Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences department at the University of Bristol. My first fieldworker role involved writing a scoping review on physical activity levels in children with chronic conditions, such as asthma, and contributing to a grant proposal. My second fieldworker role involved working on a feasibility trial to increase physical activity levels of primary school aged children through an autonomy-supportive afterschool club called Action 3:30, led by teaching assistants. I have also worked in the fitness industry.

  • Why did you choose to do a PhD in public health research?

    Both my MSc in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Public Health and previous roles sparked my interest in public health. I wanted the opportunity to conduct my own research and gain valuable skills and training for a career in public health.

  • What is your research focused on?

    My research focuses on nutrition and obesity prevention in preschool aged children (1-5 years). It is particularly focused on portion sizes and portion size guidance.

  • Why is it important?

    It is important to establish healthy behaviours from a young age, as these are more likely to track into later childhood and adulthood. Establishing age-appropriate portion sizes and self-regulation of energy intake is an important aspect of having a healthy diet and preventing overweight and obesity.

  • What do you like about being a part of the NIHR School for Public Health Research?

    I like that fellow staff and students are so supportive and helpful and that there are opportunities to develop our skills and training beyond just doing the PhD.

  • What skills have you learnt and/or are hoping to learn as part of your PhD?

    I have gained knowledge and skills in multiple methodologies, such as conducting a systematic review and multilevel model analysis. I have developed skills in academic writing and writing for the lay public. I hope to develop my skills in qualitative interviewing and thematic analysis.

  • What do you hope to do after completing your PhD?

    I hope to secure a RA/SRA job within my field of research at one of the NIHR SPHR universities or secure funding for a post-doctoral fellowship.

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