Viola Cassetti - health inequalities
Viola aims to research how a specific health promotion model - the asset-based approach - works when implemented in local neighbourhoods and how it can support reduction of health inequalities.
- Name: Viola Cassetti
- Faculty: Medicine, Dentistry & Health
- Scholarship: University Prize Scholarships
Tell us about your background and your chosen research project.
I’m an anthropologist, with experience working in community programmes in Latin America. In 2014 I came back to Europe to study the European Master in Public Health at the University of Sheffield and University of Granada (Spain). Through this MPH, I became passionate about researching how programmes developed in and together with local communities can promote health and support tackling health inequalities in Europe.
From this, my PhD proposal was born, with the aim to research how a specific health promotion model - the asset-based approach - works when implemented in local neighbourhoods and how it can support reduction of health inequalities.
Why did you choose to study at Sheffield?
The School of Health and Related Research at the University of Sheffield is well known internationally for its research and training in public health.
The opportunity to continue studying here meant being able to engage in high quality education within a research environment, learning from peers and experts and developing a professional profile in Public Health.
As well, Sheffield is a vibrant city, and next to the Peak District, with its beautiful landscapes, perfect for a hike on weekends.
What did winning the scholarship mean to you?
Being awarded a scholarship to complete my PhD has allowed me to study and research full-time, and develop a professional profile among colleagues at the University of Sheffield but also internationally.
The research and training grant has provided me with great opportunities to share my research at national and international conferences, thus developing a professional network with other experts in the field.
On a personal level, it has also supported my confidence in becoming a professional qualitative researcher in the area of public health and health promotion, and in developing new ideas on how to engage in research not only relevant within the academia but also meaningful to people and local communities.
Be passionate about your research topic is key, as it will be your topic for three or four years
PhD student - School of Health and Related Research
What has your experience of doing a PhD at Sheffield been so far?
I’m on my third year of the PhD and it has been an incredibly rewarding experience. The trainings received has been very helpful, and the support of my supervisors and other peers has been exceptional. I have carried out fieldwork in two countries and developed a good network with like-minded researchers. I feel like I have grown personally and professionally.
What are your future plans?
I hope to continue developing a career in academia, combining teaching and research, engaging in the co-creation of interventions and research together with local people and organisations, to promote health and support reduction of inequalities from an intersectoral and multidisciplinary perspective.
Do you have any advice for future prospective PhD students?
Be passionate about your research topic is key, as it will be your topic for three or four years.
Being supported by my supervisors and sharing my thoughts with them and with other professionals at conferences has also been very helpful as it provided me with time to reflect on my ideas, motivating me to continue with the research and enhancing the quality of my work.