University of Sheffield - BSc Psychology (2003); University of Nottingham - MSc Health Psychology (2006); Nottingham Trent University - PhD Psychology (2011)
Also a qualified Health Psychologist
I have had various research jobs at Nottingham Trent University, Wolverhampton University and The University of Derby
University of Nottingham
Favourite thing to do in my job: Involving patients and the public in designing our research studies
I am a Health Psychologist
I live in Nottingham with my husband and our identical twin boys who are nearly 4 years old. I love music and comedy and love going to festivals. I have been to Glastonbury festival nearly every year of my life. I was 5 months old when I first went. Our twin boys have been too. I am also very active and love badminton, squash and bouldering.
My work is around developing ways to help people quit smoking.
My work involves understanding how smoking has an affect on our health, and finding the most effective ways to help people quit smoking in order for them to improve their health and reduce their risk of developing a smoking related illness such as lung cancer.
I am particularly interested in how effective and safe electronic cigarettes are for helping people quit smoking, and a project I am about to start will explore the use of electronic cigarettes in pregnant smokers.
I am also interested in how we can help people in poorer countries quit smoking. In poorer countries the number of people who smoke is increasing, and their access to treatment and support to help them quit is limited.
My Typical Day
Writing papers for publication, writing funding applications, designing research studies, interviewing research participants, attending meetings
A lot of my research involves interviewing participants about a particular topic. These interviews are a chance for people to ‘tell their story’ and share their opinions about things. They can last between 30 minutes and one hour. Sometimes these interviews are on the telephone, and sometimes they are in person, so my day can sometimes involve a lot of travel to meet with participants.
It also takes a lot of time to analyse the data from these interviews. I would then write up our results for publication in a scientific journal, so a lot of my day is spent writing.
My time is also spent writing grant applications in order to get funding to conduct the research. Without getting the funding, it is very difficult/impossible to do the research.
What I'd do with the prize money
I would like to donate the money to a charity that brings practical science experiments to schools in rural Uganda, to give more children access to science
Everyone has the right to a basic education, but in many parts of the world, particularly poorer countries such as in Africa, children are denied this right, and their education can be limited. I am passionate about science and would like to donate the money to a fantastic charity that enables school children in rural Uganda to take part in practical science experiments in school. Hopefully this experience will encourage some children to pursue science as a career. The charity is Taste for Science http://www.tasteforscience.org/
In my own research I am passionate about working with low and middle income countries in Africa to help improve education and training for smoking cessation. I am currently developing a grant application that will enable me to develop research in this field.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
active, thoughtful, motivated
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
I've been lucky enough to travel the world attending conferences, and I spent two months working in a research centre in Sydney, Australia
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My PhD supervisors were very supportive
What was your favourite subject at school?
Art and PE
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Nope not really
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I'm really into climbing - bouldering, and would love to have my own bouldering centre
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Foo Fighters! And Florence and the Machine
What's your favourite food?
I love thai food
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Sky diving, bungee jumping, scuba diving, and traveling the world in my gap year.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To have more free time to spend with my family; to have more money to be able to travel; to secure a permanent position
Tell us a joke.
What's the result of smoking too much? Answer: Coffin