Designing and undertaking a research project

Danila Francis
Danila Francis
Postgraduate student
MSc Human Nutrition
“I have always been interested in nutrition and have always had a strong inclination to help other people. For this reason, combining these two passions has always been my biggest ambition.”
Danila Francis

“I chose this course because I aimed to deepen my knowledge in both the biological mechanisms which determine the functions of human bodies and the role of diet among such functions. My goal was to know more and more about foods and nutrients not only as a therapy but also as a prevention.”

“The most enjoyable, useful and rewarding experience, in my opinion, was the dissertation project”, she recalls. “The University of Sheffield gave me the chance to design my own research project. I decided to undertake primary research on milk perception among inflammatory bowel disease-affected individuals. I came up with a research question which was then narrowed down with the help of my professors and my supervisor.”

“Dealing with ethics, recruiting and interviewing participants had the greatest impact on developing my research skills. I appreciated having consistent support from my supervisors, who left me in charge of the project. Therefore, not only did I have the chance to experience the actual issues which researchers face when undertaking primary research, but I could also notice the benefits of undertaking such study on the chosen population in terms of how thankful participants were for their disease to have been finally considered within a research study.”

“I am delighted to have been offered such a big, actual, concrete and helpful learning opportunity by the course.”

Following her MSc, Danila secured a position as an Associate Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University. “I am currently teaching epidemiology of diet and disease to undergraduate students. Not only has The University of Sheffield contributed to expanding and specialising my knowledge, but also it allowed me to become a member of the Association for Nutrition as a Registered Associate Nutritionist, which was essential for securing my current role.”

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

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