Children, young people & families programme, Changing behaviour at population level programme, Health inequalities theme
Imperial College London
Managing and preventing childhood obesity and changing behaviour at a population level.
Hear more about Charan's fellowship experience
What has been your career journey so far?
After completing my BSc in Canada I moved to the UK to undertake a MSc in Public Health Nutrition. From there I worked as a public health nutritionist in a local authority commissioned child weight management service called BeeZee Bodies. Whilst still working in a community role I completed a CLAHRC (now known as an ARC) fellowship where I was able to further research retention and success for services delivered by BeeZee Bodies.
Why did you choose to do a pre-doctoral fellowship in public health research?
I wanted to further explore academia and gain valuable insight which will hopefully prepare me for when I pursue a PhD. I am interested in a broad range of topics related to childhood obesity and wanted to have the opportunity to find exactly what area I’d like to continue studying. I’m concurrently working in my community role at BeeZee Bodies as well as doing the Pre-doc Fellowship and love the balance that it gives me with continuing to work with the general public and as well as using this time to develop my research skills. I want to continue to work in public health in the future and be able to develop and evaluate services to better support children across the country.
What is your research focus?
My current research focus is working on evaluating the Go-Golborne project which is a healthy lifestyle intervention for children and families in the Golborne ward in Kensington and Chelsea. It was delivered by the council and I’ve been working on analysing data from this project and evaluate the service. Over the span of my fellowship, I aim to work on other projects as well and broaden my skills particularly relating to nutritional epidemiology.
Why is it important?
This is incredibly important in the field of childhood obesity. This project aimed to prevent and decrease childhood obesity in a highly deprived ward in London. Understanding the services which can mitigate one of the largest public health concerns in the world is crucial. Working with services that aim to decrease health inequalities within children is incredibly important and if successful can then be adapted to be implemented in other areas.
What are you looking forward to during your time with NIHR School for Public Health Research?
I’m looking forward to working on innovative research projects at Imperial and developing my skills as a researcher. I’m also looking forward to meeting others who work with/for the NIHR and learning more about other areas of research which are not my primary focus. I’m looking forward to collaborating with others both within my institution and outside of it.
What skills are you hoping to gain by the end?
By the end I hope to have further developed my quantitative analysis skills and start to explore qualitative research. As a junior researcher, I’d also like to develop my academic writing skills and develop confidence with science communication.
What do you hope to do after completing your fellowship?
After the Pre-Doc Fellowship I hope to start a PhD. After spending the next 2 years in this exciting and novel position, I aim to have a clear idea and path for my PhD.