Author Archives: Sarah

International Food Day by Mohammad Marie

I agreed with my PhD colleagues to do International Food Day. I woke up in the morning and started to cook Palestinian food (Melokhia). I am not the best cook but I tried to do my best… was wonderful day and all of us enjoyed different dishes. We tried Welsh, British, African, Saudi, Oman, Malizian and Palestinian food. I preferred the hot Malizian chicken and the Welsh cake. I love Welsh food since I have come to the UK. My Welsh friend showed me how to do salmon and I love fish pie. We always visit each other and we learn new stuff.

I would like to thank the school who always support these activities and Katie and her team look after the fine things and this will increase trust between the PhD student family. We share the office with many countries and the school encourage us to be supportive of each other. We always exchange our ideas about many things and explore the cross cultural mosaic. I think if the world had one culture or one colour this will be less exciting and I consider my study period in Cardiff one of the most exciting periods in my life. I daily discover and learn new things about the fascinating Welsh culture, I enjoy learning about things that Welsh people had before us as a developing country. Many things touched my heart in this city; last week I said to my friend I will miss Wales when I’ve got my PhD and return back home. I visited a female farmer yesterday with my friend; I liked her farm with horses and sheep. She talked from her heart and she knew the importance of land for any farmer. She talked about the challenges of sheep food and lack of grass due to this winter. We don’t think about these challenges when we drink milk and eat meat. We don’t think about climate change as farmers do.

In the Palestine and Arabic region we have a good food culture. We invite relatives and friends for food as customs, especially for weddings and in the fasting month (Ramadan). Food is part of Palestinian culture and many biggest dishes are registered in the Guinness Book of Records such as: Tabula and Konafa. Rice and bread is the main course in homeland as this may be easier to cook for many people at the same time. At weddings people cook for hundreds or thousands of individuals and rice may be an easier choice.  People bake bread because many refugees in camps receive flour bags as a monthly donation from the United Nation. The farmers used to plant wheat and this makes bread a good economic choice. These reasonable choices enable people to invite others for food which is part of folklore and tradition.

I hope we will do International Food Day again and these activities help us to become closer to each other. Food will increase the understanding of multiple cultures. It was a good opportunity to be away from our projects and study.

Funding opportunities

You must apply for funding opportunities if they arise.

I have recently been granted some funding from the School of Nursing and Midwifery to attend a conference in Paris focusing on teenagers and young adults with cancer.  I am aware that other students have pursued other funding opportunities outside of the School and they too have been successful.

So don’t be afraid, if you don’t ask……..!


Jane Davies

Minority Ethnic Community Health Fair, Cardiff, 6th March 2013

I have just attended the Minority Ethnic Community Health Fair at City Hall in Cardiff.  The aim of the health fair is to encourage minority ethnic communities to think about their health needs and engage with the wider community to access health services.   There is the opportunity to have blood pressure, diabetes, and eye and ear checks at the event and students from the School of Nursing and Midwifery had volunteered to carry out these checks.

I had a stand at the event to promote prostate cancer awareness amongst the African and Caribbean community and was very pleased with the response.  I was busy for most of the day with interest from the all Minority Ethnic Communities attending the event.  No-one was aware that African and Caribbean men have a higher risk of prostate cancer and everyone was interested in my research to find out why there is a lack of awareness, and what we can do to raise awareness in this group.


I found the exercise very motivating in bringing my research to life.  Sometimes sitting and reading research papers can feel like a million-miles from the aim of a research project and doing an event like this makes it feel real.

Thank you to everyone who showed an interest in my research.



Introduce your research using Quad of Aims

Yesterday I went to an RCBC Wales away day where we had a talk by Mark Hodder from Academi Wales.  He introduced us to a tool to help simplify the requirements of our research and produce a statement of goals that anyone can understand.

The Quad of Aims is used in business under the heading ‘lean thinking’.  Although this is a buzz word which tends to make me roll my eyes in anticipation of jargon I actually found this session very helpful.  The Quad of Aims is a good way to help focus the mind on why your research is being done and can act as a reference point as the PhD progresses.  It may also help me sound succinct when people ask about my work and what the intended outcomes are.

Here is my Quad of Aims for my research.  The quad is broken into four boxes: Purpose, Impact, Deliverables and Success (we were advised to use the deliverables box to plan our work over three 60-day time periods).

Title:  Perceptions of prostate cancer risk in African and Caribbean men in South Wales: Implications for health policy and supportive care.

To understand group perceptions of prostate cancer risk in black African and Caribbean men in South Wales.The groups under study will be African and Caribbean men and General Practitioners in South Wales. Provide an evidence base of current perceptions of prostate cancer risk in African and Caribbean men in South Wales.Provide an evidence base of current levels of understanding in General Practitioners about risk for prostate cancer in African and Caribbean men, and their knowledge of cultural beliefs in this group.
60 (1)Complete literature review.

60 (2)

Write protocol and make enquiries about publication.

60 (3)

Refine protocol and apply for ethical approval.

Success will be measured by: 

A better understanding of the need for education on prostate cancer risk in the African and Caribbean community

Use the evidence to produce a culturally sensitive education tool to advise African and Caribbean men about their prostate cancer risk.