Fatma Avşar works as a full-time research assistant and is studying for her PhD in the School of Health Science Department of Public Health Nursing at Gazi University, Turkey. She visited DECIPHer for seven months.
I was there to research bullying, the subject of my PhD thesis, and to build an international research network. I emailed a few academics who study health promotion of school children, who referred me to Dr Graham Moore and Dr Jemma Hawkins, and we set the visit up.
Describe your work here.
We developed a study that identifies the association and correlation between bullying and mental health, using data from the 2017 School Health Research Network Student Health and Well-being Survey. I also conducted a systematic review protocol on bullying interventions.
What are your impressions of DECIPHer?
I was excited to work here, because public health is so important to me. I felt very welcome, because the staff are so friendly and accommodating.
What did you think of Cardiff and the people?
Cardiff is a quiet, peaceful and natural city. My neighbourhood was close to Bute Park, my favourite part of Cardiff, as I love nature. I hadn’t lived in such a multicultural city before, and as a public health practitioner, this provided great opportunities to meet people of many different backgrounds. This diversity helped me to understand global public health problems.
How has your visit affected your research?
I’ve learned a lot of new things. I got the opportunity to learn how to use STATA, a new programme, for my analysis. I met my supervisors Graham and Jemma twice a month to discuss my research. At first, understanding English was hard for me, but they were patient and supportive, which encouraged me.
My research findings are almost ready to be submitted for publication thanks to them.
Tell us about where you are from.
I live in Ankara, Turkey, the capital and second largest city, which has a population 15 times the size of Cardiff. It has sixteen universities, so the majority of the population are students. The streets are usually full of people and colourful. I got homesick sometimes but not that often, because I had a lovely social life in Cardiff.
What you have enjoyed?
Academically, I have benefitted from learning many new academic and research perspectives. Cardiff is bicycle friendly, so I enjoyed getting around on my bike. I liked meeting new people and discovering Welsh culture; I love daffodils and Welsh cakes!