Please describe your education and training.
I studied Biomedical Sciences at the University of Fribourg and Bern in Switzerland. I then gained one year of experience in a pharmaceutical company in Switzerland. I always wanted to work in the field of epidemiology and cancer. I therefore applied for a PhD position at Prof. Gisela Michel’s team to examine outcomes of parents of long-term childhood cancer survivors. I received a grant which made it possible to join the Behavioural Science Unit in 2016 for the last year of my PhD.
What is your current role?
I am currently a visiting PhD student in the Behavioural Science Unit, working on various different projects. These projects include (i) an analysis of the information needs of cancer survivors and parents of survivors which is part of the BSU’s larger long-term follow-up study, as well as (ii) looking at vocational disruption in parents of childhood cancer survivors, which is a component of the BSU’s ‘Cascade’ study.
What are the ‘best’ parts of your current role?
It is very interesting to collaborate with a diverse team that includes psychologists, clinicians and researchers. Additionally, working for the first time in qualitative research is a great experience and has enhanced my knowledge and skills.
What are the most challenging parts of your current role?
I am really enjoying my time at the Behavioural Sciences Unit, but moving my life to a new continent has had its challenges!
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I hope to have completed my PhD and be working as a postdoctoral research fellow in the cancer field. I hope to be combining qualitative and quantitative approaches in my research, and maybe I’ll still be living and working overseas.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow a similar path in terms of their study/career?
The most important thing is to stay motivated, open and happy about the work you perform. Always stick to your goals and take advantage of the great opportunities to work in different research fields overseas. Try to collaborate and strengthen your networks with different stakeholders as much possible.
The Behavioural Sciences Unit is Proudly Supported by the Kids with Cancer Foundation.