Knowledge for Change – placements in Uganda

By Feb.23, 2017

Knowledge for Change is an international charity, hosted by the University of Salford, that provides highly educational elective placements and training opportunities in healthcare sectors in developing countries. Driven by our strong focus on ethics and sustainability, all placements aim to facilitate a mutual exchange of knowledge, skills and expertise. This way, while having a valuable and unforgettable experience, students are able to engage in and contribute to meaningful, interesting and ongoing projects aimed at making sustainable improvements to some of the most poorly resourced healthcare systems in the world.

 

Benefits to Uganda

K4C’s core values and principles ensure the placements are of mutual benefit to Uganda as they are to our students. Our strong focus on ethics and sustainability mean that you will have the ability to make a real difference in Uganda. We ensure our students are not ‘fly on the wall observers’ during placements; they get stuck in under direct, high quality supervision from our professional volunteers and local partners. This is why 91% of students who completed a placement with K4C in 2015/16 believed they’d had a ‘positive’ or ‘very positive’ impact on the individuals, facilities or health system within which they were based*.

Benefits to Students

A placement with K4C will allow you to develop your knowledge, skills and experience not only in relation to your professional course but also for your personal development.  Over 80% of students thought their placements with K4C had a ‘strong’ or ‘very strong’ impact on their skills in areas such as communication, compassion/empathy, resource awareness, cultural awareness, appreciation of good healthcare and the UK NHS, health systems thinking and their personal and professional commitment and motivation. 96% of students believe their placements have a ‘very positive’ impact on their career! This is incredibly important at a time when competition for jobs is increasing and you need something unique to make you stand out in interviews.

Our placements are safe and we all accommodation and travel are fully risk assessed. You are support by our staff in Uganda as well as the UK. You will have the opportunity to meet many new and interesting people and are also free to do as you please during evenings and weekends. There is plenty to do and see in Uganda! From safaris to relaxing by a beautiful lake!

Bursaries and funding opportunities

We understand that funding an international elective placement can be expensive, so to make this exciting opportunity available to as many people as possible, we have detailed some recent funding and bursary options below that you may be able to benefit from. Eligibility criteria do apply, however these are by no means the only funding available should you not be eligible, or fail in your application. The majority of universities have their own travel funding available for their students, so start by asking international offices, placement managers and personal tutors. External funding can be found by asking friends, colleagues, tutors or searching on Google!

HEIF Funding

Through its ‘HEIF funding scheme’, the University of Salford has released a minimum of 30 bursaries worth £1000 each for placements in Uganda in 2017. Groups of students from multi-disciplinary backgrounds will be attached to each of the following K4C projects: 1)  Supporting blood transfusion services (in partnership with the UK Blood & Organ Transplant Service) 2)  Understanding the dynamics of microbial resistance and the effect of buildings/structures (partnership with One Brick at A Time, OBAAT) 3)  Supporting children with mental and physical disabilities (in partnership with Kyaninga Children’s Development Centre, KCDC) 4)  Promoting respectful care in Midwifery (in partnership with the Burdett Trust and the Royal College of Midwifery) How to apply: All eligible applications received will be considered for a bursary. Request an Application Form using the contact details provided. Deadline for applications is 26th March 2017.

There are also other funding opportunities available through Santander who offer travel bursaries to 81 different universities from across the UK. Their relationship with each university varies, however many offer international travel grants and awards worth between £300 and £5000. This is not affiliated with K4C.

Applying

If you wish to apply for a placement with K4C please get in touch by emailing info@Knowledge4Change.org.uk. Alternatively, you can call us on +44 (0) 161 295 2823.

Find us on Facebook/Twitter ‘@K4C_Uganda

 
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The angel of mercy and the inspiring Salford University

By Feb.09, 2017

A blog post by Noura Almadani, PhD student at School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences

My personality has been shaped by my Islamic cultural background, values, ethical principles and beliefs that I carry with me throughout life. I spent my childhood on the northern border of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Tabouk), living in an intergenerational but small community that has powerfully influenced my life.

For me, nursing has become the ‘Angel of Mercy’. A very prominent memory for me is the time that my father was admitted into Intensive Care  Unit where he was not able to pray. The hospital staff did not understand our culture and the importance of praying for us, within the Muslim community, and this affected the whole family. My father died the following day and losing him meant losing the light of our household. I was inspired to do something to make him proud and, after secondary school, I decided to join the new Health Institute for nursing which was considered the first nursing programme in Tabouk.

In my early career, I spent time working in the pediatric ward as a staff nurse; this created many challenges for a young girl in a closed culture like Saudi Arabia. My family was very supportive and this encouragement helped me to overcome many obstacles. Marrying at the young age of 18th year did not hinder me in pursuing my dreams. In fact, it was one of the factors that empowered me to complete my studies, to be a good mother for my children and to be a role model for all Saudi women.

I am an optimistic woman; I love life, I love people, I love to make others happy and I believe that life is beautiful when we are honest with ourselves and with other people, plan our career, focus on our objectives and work to achieve them. All these factors inspired me to concentrate on education as the golden key for success to open the gate of the future.

I awarded a free internal scholarship and successfully completed my Bachelors degree in Nursing at King Saud University. This degree equipped me with the self-esteem and confidence to apply theory in practice. The emotional support I gave to patients inspired me to become more compassionate. In 2005, I joined a newly established General Directorate of Nursing at the central level of the Ministry of Health (MoH) and became actively involved in the development of nursing departments in 20 regions of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In this role I was involved in the strategic planning of nursing as a profession and promoting it as a competitive and professional choice. In 2009, I obtained my Master’s degree in Nursing Education from Marymount University, USA. I took on the role of Director of Training and Nursing programmes and joined the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Nursing Technical Committee, which is a political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries. This committee’s goal is to achieve unity among its members, based on their common objectives. Carrying strategic responsibilities at a national and international level encouraged me to apply for my PhD.

The development of nursing in Saudi Arabia is still experiencing mixed reactions and this makes nursing a less attractive career choice for young Saudi women. However, despite the continuing negativity towards nursing, the number of Saudi women entering the profession is growing. When these women become proficient with clinical skills, critical thinking and awareness of the barriers that hinder development, their chosen professional status will be increased.

My journey did not stop there!  I am currently in my third year as a PhD student at the University of Salford. As an international student, studying a PhD is a challenge in itself but the experience is very rewarding and so is the joy, love and hard work that I put into being a mother. In particular, the support, guidance and friendships that I have formed at Salford University have been, and continue to be enormously helpful in increasing my knowledge and my confidence; giving me the chance to learn from the experts. I have developed a good network of professionals in my field, which I am hoping to strengthen when I return to Saudi Arabia by organizing various seminars and projects. Last year, I started the Salford Saudi Society to provide a way for Saudi students to connect and share knowledge and experiences. I coordinated the 85th  Saudi National Day with the cooperation of Post Graduated Researcher (PGR) students as a first Saudi event at University of Salford.

I have truly enjoyed my time here and I have benefitted from the University of Salford in numerous ways. The University has helped me to experience a rich cultural and social scene, meet different people and increase my engagement in voluntary work. I highly recommend students to join Salford University because it can lead you to build a good academic network, increase your earning potential, provide a wider range of opportunities and develop a more rewarding career. My time spent at the university has been both incredibly rewarding and challenging. In the next part of my story I will write about the challenges that I faced during my PhD at Salford.

 
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60 sec with Kelly Lockwood, Lecturer in Criminology

By Jan.25, 2017

1.What is your position within the School?

I’m a Lecturer in Criminology. I’m also the Programme Leader for the undergraduate degree programme Criminology with counselling.

2.How long have you worked in the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences, University of Salford? 

I joined the University of Salford in june 2015 as a researcher on the beyond youth custody project. I started in my current role as criminology lecturer in january 2016.

3.Which building are you based in?

I am based in the allerton building.

4.Why did you choose to work within the School?

I chose to work in the school owing to the supportive environment and the skills and expertise within the team and the diverse research opportunities that it provides.

5.What is your most memorable moment of being in the School?

Having the opportunity to develop the ‘inside out’ model of teaching criminology, inside a prison setting to a combined cohort of both inside students (prisoners) and outside students (University of Salford students).

7.When you are not at work what do you do to relax?

Spending time with family and friends.

8.What was your first job?

Working weekends in a local cafe but my first job after graduating was for a women’s centre.

9. What has been your greatest achievement?

Passing my driving test!

10.What would make your job easier?

More hours in the day.

11.Finally, what one piece of advice would you give to students/colleagues?

Always ask the stupid question, because everyone else is wanting to ask it.

 
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Christmas in Dracula’s land

By Dec.23, 2016

Romania is a land of many traditions and Christmas is no exception. We know that Christmas is approaching when we hear in the village the first drum-beat (mid November)… Children, teenagers and adults come together twice a week, in the evening, to rehearse for the most valued Festival of the year – The Bear Festival  ( https://www.facebook.com/valorilenoastre/videos/1684801401811067/ )

White winter in Romania

White winter in Romania

During the night of Saint Andrews (end of November), Romanians believe that bad spirits (the vampires!) may attack at night, which is why most households will hang a garlic clove on their front gate to keep Dracula away 😕 .

Then, on the 6th of December we celebrate Saint Nicholas, one of the most awaited holidays of the year especially by children. In the Romanian culture, Mos Nicolae (Saint Nicholas) comes with gifts on the night between December 5 and December 6. He places gifts in children’s polished boots, apart for those who have been naughty. Instead, they receive a stick (trust me I’ve got the stick 😉 ). Apparently, a snowy day means that the Saint has shaken his beard for the winter to start.

Traditional food

Traditional food

December is also busy with the pig (porc) sacrifice. The ritual dates back to pre Christian times and remains an important part of Christmas preparations. The members of family come together for the day to enjoy mouth-watering dishes (pomana porcului). Nowadays, the ritual has many tourist implications, being a highlight of winter holidays in rural Romania.  The meat is used in Christmas meals like sarmale (delicious meat-and-rice rolls wrapped in cabbage, served with polenta), smoked sausages, gammon and other (difficult to translate) dishes. The traditional desert is cozonaci, a sort of sponge cake with nuts, cocoa, and Turkish delights but we also bake various tarts and sweets.

Carols  (colinde) and traditional music form an integral part of the festive season. Many compilations of Christmas music are released in Romania, with some played around the world.

Plugusorul Tg Ocna

Plugusorul Tg Ocna

The carols are accompanied by rituals, costumes and theatrical performances which create an authentic display, for example Steaua (the Star boys’ singing procession), Capra (The Goat), and Plugusorul.

The 24th evening is magical for each family, we put the Christmas tree up whilst children go from door to door singing. As a child I used to travel with friends through the whole village singing carols and receiving in exchange coins, sweets and fruits! The sound of music made the village vibrate and words cannot explain the joyfulness!

I still recall my first encounter with Santa who, to my surprise, was wearing my next neighbour shoes! Instead of focusing on the song (yes, same as in Latvia we had to recite a poem or sing to Santa to receive the gifts) I was making enquiries about Santa’s shoes 😕 .

During Ceausescu’s Era, Christmas was banned because of its religious connotations yet people continued to celebrate. Christmas days (25 to 27) have always been a great opportunity for family members to spend precious time in the warm, loving, and atmosphere of their home.

Processed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV

New Year celebrations start on the 31 December in the morning with the Bear Festival, Capra and Plugusorul  continuing until the 2nd of January.

The festive season is a truly authentic experience with unusual rituals (after all we’re in Dracula’s land), which I hope will continue to attract the new generations. Snow, crispy cold, shiny stars, the drum-beat are a few of the magical memories of my childhood.

All I wish for Christmas is snow and the sound of drum and carols!

Wishing you a Cracium Fericit! (Merry Christmas)!

Dr. Cristina Vasilica, Research Fellow in Digital Health

@cristinavas

 

 
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Christmas in Latvia

By Dec.22, 2016

latviaDid you know that Latvia is the birthplace of the decorated Christmas tree? Apparently old records show that it was in Old Town in Riga, the capital of Latvia, where the first Christmas tree was decorated in the 16th century. Today Latvians still decorate real fir trees with real candles and ornaments, often made from straw and other natural materials.

Children in Latvia believe that Ziemassvētku vecītis (a Latvian Santa Claus) brings their Christmas presents. The presents are usually left under the Christmas tree or they are brought by Santa Claus himself (usually played by a male member of a family or a friend). Usually to get your present you have to recite a short Christmas poem while standing next to the Christmas Tree. I still remember my first Christmas poem that I learned when I was four – it was about pixies walking home through a forest. However, I got so scared of my first encounter with Santa Claus that all I could do was to say ‘pixies, pixies, pixies’ before bursting into tears. I still got a present and still remember it. If you are not good with poems you might also get a present by singing, dancing or playing a musical instrument. You have to do something for each present, so if you are expecting a lot of presents next Christmas you may need to start planning your acts now.

Many years ago, one of my friends and me dressed up as a Santa Claus and a pixie, bought lots of presents and made surprise visits to snowy forests to our friends’ houses on Christmas Eve. Our friends’ children were so excited. After tugging our fake beards they decided that we are indeed real! Their parents were excited too. And relieved. At one house our friends’ six and eight years olds sons had insisted that they will stay up all night because they wanted to make sure they meet the Santa Claus when he brings their presents. Their parents were in despair. Santa Claus and Pixie arrived just in time to save the day (or shall I say- to save the night?). We must have been very good, as for next couple of years we got ‘booked’ to come again!

An integral part of every Christmas is a lavish meal. We Latvians love our food. An old belief is that, in order to have a prosperous New Year, a Christmas meal should consist of at least nine different dishes, including a Christmas roast, grey peas with bacon and onions, stewed sauerkraut, gingerbread cookies, and pastries. If eating a lot is not your thing, we have many other ways how to ensure prosperity, for example, by putting fish scales in your purse at Christmas time.

My all time favourite Christmas food is are cinnamon rolls. They remind me of my childhood when every Christmas my grandmother would make them together with her grandchildren using an old bread oven. Now every Christmas I continue this tradition and I bake cinnamon rolls together with my son.  Writing this reminded me that it is time to get baking again!

Priecīgus Ziemassvētkus! (Merry Christmas!)

Dr. Daiga Kamerāde, Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Research Methods in Sociology/Criminology

@dkamerade

 

 
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Christmas in Macedonia

By Dec.21, 2016

flagChristmas in Macedonia is celebrated very differently to the UK. For starters, in Macedonia, Christmas is on January the 7th. Secondly, Macedonians don’t exchange presents at Christmas, but at New Year and lastly, Christmas dinner is traditionally totally vegan. Yes, no turkeys involved, and they live to see another Christmas in Macedonia 🙂

You might be thinking why so different? Well, the Macedonian Orthodox Church uses the Julian calendar for the religious festivals unlike the Gregorian calendar used for all secular activities. And although the main Christmas day is on the 7th, the celebrations start on the 5th January on a day called ‘Kolede’. This is the day when early in the morning children go door to door, singing Christmas carols and get cookies, fruit, nuts and coins from the hosts. Later in the day, the elderly gather around a bonfire (every neighbourhood lights up one) while drinking warmed up spirits ‘rakija’ and wine and reminiscing about the year passed and the year to come.

The following evening (6th) is the main event called ‘Badnik’. This is the Christmas dinner when all the family gets together. This dinner is very symbolic and totally vegan. In the centre piece of each table there is an oak branch (or 3) symbolising strength and the Holy Trinity. Traditionally, prior to this dinner, everyone should have ‘purified’ their body by eating only vegan food for 40 days and not argued with anyone for the same length of time (I know, that’s the hard bit 🙂 ).

xmasdinnerAt the dinner, the first thing that is eaten is homemade bread that contains a coin. The oldest person in the family shares this bread (that symbolises Christ’s flesh) to all family members, even if not present (my parents still share a slice for me even when away). The person that gets the coin in their slice, puts the coin in a glass of red wine (symbolising Christ’s blood) and drinks first from the glass for good luck. The glass is then passed around and everyone gets a sip from the symbolic Christ’s blood for good luck (this is the point you are introduced to red wine very early). After this, the dinner begins. The dinner normally has filo pastry pie, broad beans casserole and other cooked vegetables. This is then followed by eating fruits and nuts.  The hard bit is that nobody gets to leave the table before everyone has tried from every item on the table, by which point you feel totally stuffed. Also, you are not supposed to open any windows or doors that night, so the spirit of Christ stays in the house (scary thought when a child 🙂 ).

The following day everyone greets each other with ‘Christ is born’ (Hristos se rodi) and a reply ‘Indeed He is born’ (Vistina se Rodi). This is the day when meat is served for a first time for the festivities, and the festivities last for three days. In those days people visit their extended families and friends and basically over eat and over drink like most Christmas celebrations around the world.

But, Macedonians don’t stop there. The following week of 13th of January, we repeat similar celebrations, celebrating Old New Year or Vasilica, which is a lot more relaxed and more party orientated. And all this starts with the regular New Year celebrations on 31st of December where Macedonians party for at least 2 nights.

I feel very lucky as I get to start my celebrations a week earlier than most Macedonians by being in UK.

Merry Christmas (Sreken Bozik) and Happy New Year (Srekna Nova Godina) to all. Hope all reading this have someone close to share the festivities with.

Dr Mariyana Schoultz, lecturer in Mental Health

@1Mariyana

 

 
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Christmas in the United Kingdom…

By Dec.20, 2016

christmas1For me, Christmas celebrations generally get started in early December. In the first week or so I find that if the excitement of eating my advent calendar chocolates hasn’t triggered those festive feelings, then going along to a local Christmas event is sure to do the trick! As a child, these early December outings were all about queuing up to meet Father Christmas and pestering your parents for sweet treats, like hot chocolate topped with a mountain of whipped cream and marshmallows. As an adult, it’s now much more about sharing a spiced cider or mulled wine with friends at the Christmas markets. Regardless of which drink is in hand, this is typically when my favourite festive moment happens: the countdown to the Christmas lights switch on. A close second favourite has to be decorating the Christmas tree, which usually happens around the same time.

While the main man himself (and indeed Mums and Dads everywhere) may be making a list and checking it twice, so too are children all across the UK at this time of year. I vividly remember hours spent with cousins and friends scribbling down and revising lists which, when finalised, would be decorated with glitter, festive colours, pretty borders, and pictures of reindeers and their soon-to-be very busy boss!

christmas2Christmas Eve is the day for final preparations. Wrapping the last gifts, picking up remaining items from the shopping list, and, for parents, distracting eager and excitable children in anticipation of the day to come. Best behaviour is a must. Putting aside any naughtiness that may have happened throughout the year, Christmas Eve is the final attempt to secure your place on Santa’s ‘nice’ list. Then, for younger family members, it’s off to bed early, but not before laying out a bit of sustenance for Santa and his dutiful reindeer friends: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, and Donner, and Blitzen and, of course, not forgetting Rudolph with the very shiny nose!

Christmas Day arrives and children jump out of bed desperate to find the answer to that all important question: has he been? For me and my younger brother, the first gifts to open could be found in two red stockings outside our bedroom door. Typically, we’d open up a game of some sort and some food – a clever tactic I now realise allowed my Mum just a little more rest before the day’s busyness began. Then, finally, we’d be allowed to rush downstairs to share out presents placed under the tree. In my house, there’d often be fits of laughter as we’d realise that a tired and stressed ‘Father Christmas’ may have had one or two mix ups. One year, my gifts included a set of Bob the Builder pyjamas from the cat, while the dog had kindly given my younger brother a Spice Girls watch.

christmas3The rest of the morning involves preparations for the big Christmas meal. The turkey, pigs in blankets, and cranberry sauce make this an extra special version of a typical roast dinner with vegetables and gravy. However, a major difference with this roast is that it requires family members to take their position on sprouts, declaring their love or hatred, much the same as with Marmite, for the divisive little green cabbages. (I’m a huge fan). Even once the meal has finished, eating generally continues with chocolates, biscuits, cheese and others snacks appearing throughout the rest of the day (and for days to come). As the day goes on, we might sit down to play a game or watch something Christmassy on TV. It’s at this point that some family members sneak a Christmas nap.

Like many families, our celebrations continue into Boxing Day and sometimes for several days after. Although the main task is to work our way through all the leftover food, we usually spend this time catching up with friends and other family members, as well as getting out for long walks with the dogs.

Writing this has made me realise how much I love Christmas and how overwhelmingly excited I am to head home to Shropshire this weekend and catch up with my nearest and dearest. To all reading, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Danielle Butler, PhD student 

@delisabethb

 
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Season’s Greetings from our Dean, Margaret Rowe

By Dec.18, 2016

Season’s greetings to our students, staff, alumni & friends around the world! I am looking forward to working closely with you to make exciting and new memories and achievements.

xmasweb1

Margaret Rowe,

Dean of School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences

University of Salford

 
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Sabah’ experience of PhD at the University of Salford, Manchester, UK

By Nov.13, 2016

PhD experience

Sabah Ismile Alsomali PhD experience

I am Sabah Ismile Alsomali, PhD third year student at the University of Salford, School: Nursing, Midwifery, and Social Work and Social Sciences.

My PhD First Year Experiences

I arrived in Manchester in September 2014, eager to begin my doctoral studies in a new country, as an international student from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I chose to travel to the UK for my degree to broaden my academic and personal horizons.

This unique, University of Salford is famous in my country for its outstanding performance in the educational research, and the academic staff is well known in their fields of expertise. In my opinion, an academic expertise with a high reputation in the research field is crucial, and I was searching for a level of knowledge and experience, which I found at the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Science. The lectures and seminars from expertise were helpful to guide and direct me, and I also learned various research skills, as well as, acquired insightful knowledge related to my research and overall personal development.

I found the facilities and resources at the University of Salford outstanding. The university is well organised, and the support team is always available and helpful.

The diversity of my fellow research students from all over the world and the sheer range of subjects make a large academic community of mutually supportive researchers. We are encouraged to share our work, via a series of seminars on the research approaches and issues. For example, I had the opportunity to participate in several seminars in the university, such as I was one of the speakers on International Nursing Day, and I presented my research project on the celebration of Postgraduate Research Day. I was also, one of the organisers and speakers on the event of Saudi National Day at University of Salford. In addition to this, I gave a lecture to new students of Master’s Degree at the University.

My first year of studying PhD at the University of Salford was quite busy because I spent a lot of time reading relevant literature, attended seminars and workshops, which helped me to understand the research methods and methodology. In addition to this, I prepared for my interim assessment research proposal, which was scheduled in late June 2015. The interim assessment was the most important evaluation in my PhD work. The examiners were extremely helpful and friendly and gave some valuable comments. Following this, my supervisor and I were asked to leave the room. The most stressful moment was the waiting time for the results outside the office with my supervisor. After a period of 10 minutes, we were informed that I passed my interim assessment and can now consider myself a PhD student. The interim assessment was a turning point for me in this research work. Although, I completed all the preparation work, for example, literature review, research methods; I felt that the second year would be the year marked, as the initiating year of the research and hard work.

My PhD Second Year Experiences

The second year was very different from the first one. Now that I had a clear plan of what I wanted to do, all I had to do is to work and the second year would be the year marked as the initiating year of the research and hard work.

The second year was hard in a way because the excitement of the first year was over, but the end was still out of reach. From my experience, those who decide to drop out, often do so, by the end of the second year.

According to plan, I wrote an initial draft of my thesis using the data available from the existing literature, printed research tools materials. By the time, I gained a full understanding of the subject, I conducted a field trip to Saudi Arabia.

Due to the nature of my thesis, the fieldwork for data collection was conducted for the second year of my research as planned in Saudi Arabia, which involved survey questionnaire with the people with T2DM and face-to-face semi-structured interviews with health care professionals as well as people with T2DM.

I acquired more knowledge and experience from data collection in the field. Personally, I acquired knowledge of SPSS and doing quantitative data analysis with the help of SPSS.

During the second year of PhD at the University of Salford, in the United Kingdom, I would describe myself as becoming a competent researcher evidenced by co-authoring two publications with my supervisor and conference presentation.

I prepared for my Internal Evaluation (IE) exam, which was scheduled in late September 2016. The internal evaluation was the most important evaluation in my PhD work.

The sequence of my second year IE evaluation was somewhat similar to what happened in the first year IE evaluation. After the question-answer by the panel, my supervisory team and I were asked to leave the room and were called after few minutes, later to be told that I passed my PhD internal evaluation and can now proceed with PhD third year study. I was very happy. The examiners of this panel were also very helpful and friendly, like the examiners in the first year panel.

I enjoyed the second year more than the previous year. First of all, I felt more confident in the area of my study and gained a deeper knowledge of the topic when I did my data collection and data analysis.

I felt optimistic about finishing my degree on time when I passed my Internal Evaluation exam.

My PhD Third Year Experiences

At the beginning of the course of my PhD, third year journey, I was given many chances to present my work at conferences. The gains from sharing my work with a wider audience are tremendous and valuable. These exceptional experiences will not only give me insights into my work but will also give me a good idea of what it means to be a part of a wider academic community. I have also made progress in disseminating my work with a poster, accepted at a conference at Manchester University.

In my final year, I will be determined to make most of the opportunities and work, as hard as, I can. Due to the nature of my research study, I am positive about the possibility to complete the required amount of work in one year. Although third year bears a lot of responsibilities, with the major material of my work prepared and written, I feel confident that I would be able to use the time after data collection effectively to improve the drafts, I already have.

The University Salford has fantastic resources, offering access to everything you need to do your PhD, such as data sets and 24/7 library facilities.

The community between PhD students at the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences was imperative to me. It fosters a vibrant group of people studying different things, and with a strong sense of collaboration and support, we were able to share expertise and advice within this community. I appreciate the help from other students, who were going through similar things as I was going through.

I always felt welcomed by the School staff and the city. It has given me access to a new culture and a new life, which is multicultural, yet integrated. The School also has excellent industrial connections and international links, so I was able to understand a different way of thinking and understanding.

The city of Manchester is a great place for studying. It is known as the “best student city.” The city is multicultural and lively and has lots of tourist attractions, museums, galleries, and on-going events throughout the year.

The vibrant campus of the University of Salford is only a short travel from Manchester Central. I found myself in the middle of great things happening, which influenced my personal development and learning that I will take to my home country when I complete my PhD. Finally, I can say that at the University of Salford, challenges may seem big, but they filled my life with excitement and helped me to realise my dreams with more confidence and enthusiasm.

PhD student, Sabah Ismile Alsomali

University of Salford, School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences

 
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60 sec with Julie Lawrence, Lecturer in Social Work

By Oct.31, 2016

pic0061.What is your position within the School?

I am a lecturer in social work and the programme leader for the post graduate Continuous Professional Development  (CPD) Social Work Programme.

2.How long have you worked in the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences, University of Salford? 

I joined the school in November 2000, as a part-time tutor. I became a lecturer in social work in April 2010.

3.Which building are you based in?

The Allerton Building.

4.Why did you choose to work within the School?

I chose to work within the school because it has a modern, lively atmosphere and there are opportunities to undertake research projects which I can share with students.

5.What is your most memorable moment of being in the School?

When my tutee presented the outcomes from her research in 2015 at an international conference. I was there to saviour the moment s of her success.

6.What is your biggest dream?

That everyone has a guiding voice to support opportunities to fulfil  potential   .

7.When you are not at work what do you do to relax?

I visit beautiful gardens and admire the vistas.

8.What was your first job?

My first job was based within the Magistrate’s Court in Chester, I worked as a Probation Assistant to the Court.

9. What has been your greatest achievement?

Undertaking my PhD and meeting a Social Learning Theorist: Professor Etienne Wenger-Trayner in 2014.

10.What would make your job easier?

Although important, less administration.

11.Finally, what one piece of advice would you give to students/colleagues?

Have the courage to take a risk and believe in yourself to succeed: ‘no matter what’.

 
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