Health Inequalities theme
Newcastle University (Fuse)
Inequalities, particularly in the area of health and wellbeing.
What has been your career journey so far?
I graduated from Newcastle University with a BA (Hons) in Sociology and Social Policy. I then worked in local authority community development, taking a participatory approach by working alongside local residents and organisations to improve their neighbourhoods. I moved on to undertake research into regional implications of government policy, supporting collaborative working to influence the outcome of national decisions across a number of policy areas including employment, welfare reform, local government finance and health. After that I worked in service development for a national sight loss charity, before returning to Newcastle University to complete an MA in Sociology and Social Research. I worked in the charity sector in a research and evaluation role before coming back to Newcastle University for a third time to do my PhD.
Why did you choose to do a PhD in public health research?
In my previous roles, I have learned a lot about the effect of inequalities on the health of individuals and communities. A PhD in public health is the perfect opportunity to combine my interest in research with the development of evidence illustrating the significant impact of health inequalities on people and places.
What is your research focused on?
My research is about the impact of Universal Credit on health and wellbeing. It considers how the implementation of Universal Credit has affected people and services in South Tyneside, particularly regarding their physical and mental health.
Why is it important?
It’s crucial to understand how Universal Credit affects different people over time. This has become even more important following the recent surge in Universal Credit claimants due to COVID-19.
What do you like about being a part of the NIHR School for Public Health Research?
It’s great to be part of a community where a wide range of interesting and worthwhile research is being undertaken, all with the aim of improving public health.
What skills have you learnt and/or are hoping to learn as part of your PhD?
My interview skills have improved through ongoing practice and reflection. I’m also building on my analytical skills as I explore the interview transcripts. No doubt I will be learning more about this, writing and many other aspects of research during the rest of my PhD.
What do you hope to do after completing your PhD?
I’d like to pursue research exploring and addressing inequalities.