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From PhD to Lectureship at the School of Healthcare Sciences

13 December 2013

Catherine Dunn and Dominic Roche - PhD students at the School of Healthcare Sciences who have achieved lectureships

Two PhD students from the School of Healthcare Sciences have secured lectureships within the School; an impressive achievement. Catherine Dunn and Dominic Roche, both of whom secured places before the completion of their PhDs, are excited about the opportunity to continue in the School - as lecturers.

Catherine trained as a nurse directly after completing her A-Levels and went on to work in cardiothoracic surgery, then cardiology. She did her Master’s degree at the Imperial College, London and returned to Cardiff in 2005 to work in cardiology. She came to Cardiff School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies to do the Independent Prescribing course (after which she ran a nurse-led Rapid Access Pain Clinic at the University Hospital of Wales until 2009) and then again to teach as an Associate Lecturer. She secured funding for her PhD in 2009. She still does some clinical work alongside her teaching and research.

Catherine began teaching earlier this year and is in the process of completing her PhD, titled ‘An exploration of barriers to the disclosure of erectile dysfunction as an early warning of coronary heart disease’. The project is a qualitative study, utilising semi-structured interviews and questionnaires to explore patients and healthcare professional's experiences and understandings of disclosing erectile dysfunction. 

“I applied for a lectureship last January,” Catherine explained, “and I was appointed in March. As I had not yet completed my PhD, the Dean suggested I start in August, having written up my thesis. They were very supportive and I’m now teaching on a mixture of postgraduate degrees and pre-registration undergraduate courses.”

Dominic left a career in project management to retrain as a nurse in 2005 in Swansea, qualifying in 2008 and continuing to do a Master’s degree in Public Health alongside clinical work. He received a PhD studentship from the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research (NISCHR) and came to Cardiff University when his PhD supervisor Dr Aled Jones took a post at the School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies in 2011.

“I haven’t yet begun my lecturing duties,” explained Dominic, “I will be starting in January, putting 50% of my time into completing my PhD and 50% into teaching.” Dom’s PhD title is ‘A realist evaluation of patient involvement in a safer surgery initiative’. It focuses on attempts to improve patient safety through promoting the involvement of patients in the planning and delivery of surgical care through an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) programme.

Of the opportunities for part-time teaching alongside a PhD, Dominic said: “I have been increasing my involvement in teaching during my PhD, gaining additional experience alongside my research. There’s not an expectation that you get involved in teaching within the School, but it is encouraged and staff in the School have been very supportive.”

Katie Featherstone, Director of Postgraduate Studies at the School, commented, “I am incredibly proud of Cath and Dom, they have both made a strong contribution to the research culture and teaching within the School during their PhD. They provide strong role models for our students, as early career academics developing a body of clinically relevant research that also informs their teaching.”