CRIPACC PhD student profiles

Current students

CRIPACC currently supports the following PhD students, many of whom are part time.

StudentPhD titleSupervisors
Amany AlabdullahJob Stress and Satisfaction among Saudi Paediatric NursesProfessor Brian Littlechild
Dr Lisa Whiting
Dr Ben Lui
Daniel Buckley

A Sociological Investigation of the Experiences of Sporting Reminiscence for Men Living with Dementia

Dr Elizabeth Pike
Dr Claire Jenkin
Dr Elspeth Mathie
Nicole DarlingtonHow do Dementia Friendly Communities involve those further along the dementia trajectory?Professor Claire Goodman
Dr Elspeth Mathie
Jeanette Ford What are the health needs of Roma children in the community and what can health visitors and school nurses, do to improve health outcomes? Professor Sally Kendall
Dr Louise Condon
Dr Denise Knight        
Obi Kanu IjomantaA multi-method study on sexual health knowledge in men with mild learning disabilitiesProfessor Brian Littlechild
Dr Audrey Kempson
Fredrick IloebuneThe role of faith-based organisations (FBO's) in the empowerment programme for children orphaned by Aids in Lagos State: A child's participatory rights perspectiveProfessor Brian Littlechild
Dr Karen Lyons 
Dr Andreas Bochmann
Mike KangiraAn exploration of the extent to which the incorporation of self-neglect to safeguarding in the Care Act 2014 has improved Social Work intervention with older people known to self-neglect in EnglandProfessor Brian Littlechild
Professor Julia Williams
Dr Ben Lui
Jacqueline Kelly An exploratory study of the Lived Experience of having a sibling with intellectual disabilities Professor Sally Kendall
Dr Sandra Baum
Dawn LukkSocio-cultural factors influencing maternal nutrition in Arab Muslim womenProfessor Wendy Wills
Dr Angela Dickinson
Kyle LotayThe views of Approved Mental Health Professionals of the ways in which their work and perception of the role is impacted by approving Community Treatment OrdersProfessor Brian Littlechild
Professor Shula Ramon
Jane McClinchy Nutrition Information for people with Type 2 Diabetes Dr Angela Dickinson
Professor Wendy Wills
Claire SandayWhat are the key issues for women who perceive they have drinking problems in how they view the nature of those problems and issues for them in accessing support for them?Professor Brian Littlechild
Dr Audrey Kempson
Rachel SharpeSuicide in DementiaProfessor Claire Goodman
Professor Julia Jones
Sarah Vollam Recovery following intensive care discharge Professor Natalie Pattison
Professor Hilary Thomas
Dr Peter Watkinson

Case studies

Sandra-Eve Bamigbade: Understanding shared mealtime experiences for adolescents with Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders within multiple foodscapes

Supervised by Dr Samantha Rogers, Dr Amanda Ludlow and Professor Wendy Wills

Virgina Woolf famously said "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well". Food is more than nutrition, it is a means of connection and can significantly alter the quality of life of those with eating difficulties. It is this theme which has been of great interest and that has led me to research mealtime experiences.

For my Master’s project at the University of Hertfordshire (2015-2016) I worked on my dissertation under the supervision of Dr Samantha Rogers. I conducted quantitative research to explore whether children’s eating behaviours and parental use of controlling feeding practices differed according to parental ethnicity and weight status. I enjoyed the research process thoroughly, although it was challenging. The chance to grow and overcome research obstacles made the whole process fulfilling and being able to write up findings of my own was an achievement in itself! By the time I finished my MSc, I was unsure what my next step was. Unbeknownst to me, a year later I would be working under the guidance of Dr Samantha Rogers again on a multidisciplinary PhD in Food and Public Health within CRIPACC.

Towards the end of my MSc, I started working with CRIPACC as a casual research assistant and as a result I learnt many valuable skills. During this time, I was introduced to Professor Wendy Wills and I was fortunate enough to speak with her about my work with CRIPACC and my future aspirations. It was during this conversation that I learnt that CRIPACC were announcing their first full-time PhD studentship. I would never have thought that I would be capable of undertaking a PhD, let alone be awarded a studentship. With the support and encouragement of Dr Samantha Rogers, Dr Amanda Ludlow and Dr Lisa Whiting, I drafted a research proposal and personal statement that was shortlisted. Following a panel interview, I was awarded the studentship. The first lesson my PhD taught me was that one should never underestimate their ability to grow so long as they are in an environment conducive to growth and surrounded by those who believe in them and are willing to nurture their quest for knowledge.

I am keen to progress my career as a researcher and to push myself to new limits; which this amazing opportunity provides me everyday. While a PhD is full of challenges, feelings of being overwhelmed and some sleepless nights, there is nothing that can compare with the freedom permitted to follow your intellectual curiosities and the satisfaction of seeing your finished work. Although I am still in the early stages of my PhD, I can already see how much I have developed as a researcher and academic with the help of my supervisory team and the university’s Researcher Development Programme. This PhD process has already taught me a lot about myself and has stretched me emotionally and intellectually in ways I could never have imagined. Whilst my PhD is ongoing, one thing I do know for certain is that I like the person I am becoming and am excited to see the woman I am at the end of this learning adventure.

On a final note, I would encourage anyone who enjoys research to apply for a PhD; you just might surprise yourself.

Karen Machin: Technology enhanced peer support: a participatory study of the use of digital technologies for developing peer knowledge in mental health and wellbeing

I am currently undertaking a part-time PhD that focuses on how peer support (when people use their own experiences to help others) can make use of technology in the area of mental health and wellbeing; my supervisors are Professor Shula Ramon and Professor Brian Littlechild. I am working with an advisory group of peer supporters on this participatory study - for the first part of the research, I will interview them about their experiences with technology, I will then apply this knowledge to online learning for peer supporters.

Alongside my studies, I work freelance in mental health from the perspective of lived experience, something I have done since 2007. After a long period of working, including developing and delivering training to peer supporters, I wanted to study a PhD for my own personal development.

Prior to undertaking doctoral studies, I was one of the first group of students on the MSc in Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion, a distance learning course at the University of Hertfordshire. I thoroughly enjoyed this programme as it stretched my thinking while valuing my existing knowledge. The tutors and other students shared their learning as equals and I particularly enjoyed the diverse mix of UK and international students. Throughout the course, I could apply the learning to my own interest in peer support – as a result, I wanted to develop this beyond the MSc. The tutors encouraged and supported me with my application for a PhD. This previous relationship with the School of Health and Social Work gave me the confidence that I needed.

As someone who is based 200 miles away from the University, I do miss the day to day interactions that can take place with other students. However, I have the same online access to the library and other systems and I hear about all of the research facilities available for PhD students. I come to the University a number of times in each academic year to take advantage of some of the Researcher Development Programme sessions as well as for supervision; in addition, I have supervision meetings via Skype and that works very well.

I have already learnt a huge amount about the research process and the realities of doing my own study - I look forward to that developing further. I am surprised at how quickly time is passing and I am very aware of how life can get in the way of studying; I have learnt to respond pro-actively to changing circumstances rather than becoming over-anxious.

I would encourage anyone who is interested in research to consider applying for a PhD. The School of Health and Social Work is welcoming of all experiences and views and has a strong reputation around patient and public involvement. They understand how to support people and go the ‘extra mile’ to respond to people’s needs.