Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Doctor of Philosophy candidate 2011
“I decided to do a PhD as it would help me to develop research skills, and the main reason I selected University of Sydney was the number of expert academic staff. My area of research focuses on improving primary health care services in developing countries through different educational strategies. I hope to develop a mechanism to promote clinical guidelines in low resource hospital settings.
Working with my supervisors from Sydney School of Public Health gave me opportunity to improve my research planning and to broaden my research area by using different research methods during field work. The diverse expertise of academic staff has certainly been a highlight of my time here in Sydney. They are all supportive and encouraging, providing timely feedback and advice which has certainly improved the quality and validity of my research planning and findings.
I believe that anyone who wants to build-up their career with a PhD should consider the University of Sydney as there are significant opportunities to learn from experts in the field of Medicine and Public Health. The training and exposure we get here in addition to the postgraduate qualification are valuable assets for future employment and career development.”
Master of International Public Health graduate
"I did my Master in International Public Health in 2003 with an Australian Development Scholarships from AusAID. I then returned to Indonesia where I worked in the WHO for two years.
In 2007, AusAID rewarded me another scholarship under the scheme of the Australian Leadership Awards to do my PhD.
My PhD is on determinants of neonatal death in Indonesia, specifically on the role of antenatal, delivery and postnatal services. This is an area of great interest to me since child mortality remains an enormous challenge in developing countries, including Indonesia. Interventions to decrease child mortality rates have been conducted worldwide; as a result under-five and infant mortality rates have dropped considerably. Unfortunately, this remarkable decrease is not occurring for neonatal deaths (deaths occurring in the first 28 days after delivery). In fact, the proportion of infant deaths occurring in the neonatal period has been increasing over time. These are some basic ideas behind this research topic. To some extent, my research is also related to the project I worked in, five years back, when I was still working in the WHO Indonesia as we attempted to build the mortality registration system in some districts."
"My research looks at performance-related disorders in wind musicians caused by misuse or overuse of the soft palate muscles. In particular my thesis will focus on the prevalence, treatment and management of the soft palate disorder, velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI), in student woodwind and brass players. VPI is frequently experienced by advanced students pursuing a professional career. Such students often practice intensively, unwittingly stressing their soft palate and thus threatening their career. I hope my research will help students and teachers understand the function of the soft palate and raise awareness of performance-related disorders, so that future pedagogy can optimise wind-instrument performance and prevent injuries."
“My PhD thesis focuses on whether the internet, particularly social networking and user-generated websites like Facebook and YouTube, is being used to undermine tobacco control efforts. As the internet is a largely unregulated and globally accessible platform it has the potential to allow tobacco companies to skirt the advertising and marketing restrictions that exist in traditional media, and promote their products directly to young people. It is very exciting to investigate this new form of media as at present there is little knowledge about whether online marketing is weakening public health campaigns. My goal is that my research will provide evidence to strengthen legislative controls on tobacco advertising and marketing.”
PhD and Master of Clinical Epidemiology graduate
"In 2006 I was an Advanced Nephrology trainee at Westmead hospital, just finishing my maternity leave before I began the PhD at the School of Public Health. I began my PhD hoping to expand my knowledge in clinical research, critical thinking and enrich my understanding in evidence-based medicine, and to better equip myself in clinical practice and improved patient care.
My research focussed on the epidemiology and interaction of cancer in patients with chronic kidney disease, the diagnostic and screening test accuracy of cancer screening in CKD, quantification of patients’ preferences for preventive medicine and cancer treatment in the context of chronic illness, economic modelling to assess the benefits and costs of any health intervention and/or health programs and strategies to improve the health outcomes of patients with chronic kidney disease.
The ultimate aim is to improve patient care, reduce the burden of cancer in the context of chronic kidney disease, and impact on future policy development for preventive medicine in chronic illness.
The most challenging part of the course is the balance between family and study. I started my doctoral and my master of medicine (concurrently) when my daughter was only nine months. It was a difficult decision to start at the time. I was very blessed to have a very supportive supervisory team. My three supervisors were most kind, caring and compassionate throughout my doctoral degree. Through the support of my three supervisors, I managed to complete my doctoral degree pretty much ahead of time."
Master of International Public Health graduate
"I am a Refugee Health Coordinator and I link newly arrived refugees to specialists in the healthcare system. Undertaking a doctorate has allowed me to further contribute in the form of research. I'm currently investigating barriers to access to care for newly arrived Sub Sahara African refugee families in Australia."