"I decided to come to Surrey for my PhD because my project cuts across long-term conditions, maternal health and electronic health, and Surrey’s School of Health Sciences is at the fore-front of research in these areas."
My desire to contribute and make a difference in the area of maternal and women’s health are what led me to pursue a PhD with University of Surrey’s School of Health Sciences. My passion for women’s health, especially reducing maternal mortality and promoting preconception care, is the main reason I was drawn to my PhD project. The innovative nature of my PhD project and the fact that it is helping to tackle two public health issues, raising awareness of preconception care (PCC) and reducing adverse outcomes in women with diabetes, are also part of the reason I am very passionate about my research study.
The purpose of my project is to develop and test the feasibility of a Preconception and Diabetes Information (PADI) app for PCC (targeted support and care before pregnancy) of women with type 1 or 2 diabetes. The PADI app is specifically developed for women with diabetes to help improve awareness of PCC, and optimise their health before and in early pregnancy.
So far, I have developed the app in collaboration with healthcare professionals, women with diabetes and a digital agency. I have also collected feedback regarding the acceptability of the app, tested the preliminary effects on knowledge and attitudes towards PCC, and explored experience of using the app for PCC. PADI app is currently available on iTunes and Google Play stores. It is my vision that it would become integrated into healthcare in order to be of benefit to more women. After my PhD, I hope to take up a postdoctoral research position that will enable me utilise my research skills to improve PCC and reduce maternal mortality.
"Studying for my PhD at Surrey has been incredible; my supervisors, as well as other staff and PGRs within the School of Health Sciences are very supportive."
I decided to come to Surrey for my PhD because my project cuts across long-term conditions, maternal health and electronic health, and Surrey’s School of Health Sciences is at the fore-front of research in these areas. My supervisors (Dr Nicola Carey and Professor Jill Shawe) have been instrumental to my development as a researcher by encouraging me to take up opportunities that have enabled me be the best version of myself.
The Library is great for physical and electronic books, articles and journals. The Researcher Development Programme (RDP) team based in the Library have been wonderful at providing advice and training through the various stages of my PhD journey. I have also been able to collaborate with other academics at surrey to publish journal papers.
My proudest achievements during my PhD journey include developing the PADI mobile app (an alternative means of providing preconception care to women with diabetes), publishing several articles in peer-reviewed journals, presenting my research at national and international conferences and being awarded Postgraduate Research Student of the year 2017 for the School of Health Sciences. I was also awarded a grant in 2015 from Funds for Women Graduates (FfWG), an educational charity whose objective is to advance the education and learning of women graduates.
The University of Surrey's campus is beautiful and situated close to London. I have often taken advantage of the short train journey to London and been on day trips to places such as Brighton. The proximity to the airport has also made it easy for me to take short trips abroad to attend conferences. Last year, I attended the Preconception Health and Care conference in Sweden.
After my PhD, I hope to take up a postdoctoral research position that will enable me utilise my research skills to improve PCC and reduce maternal mortality."