The aim of my research is to investigate how interior design and aesthetics within rehabilitation facilities influence physical and psychological health outcomes, particularly attitudes toward physical activity following spinal cord injury.

I anticipate that my research findings will contribute to formulating a novel framework that can be applied within rehabilitation facilities to overcome the barriers to physical activity that people with spinal cord injury experience.

Integrating research with clinical practice

The National Rehabilitation Centre is such an exciting prospect. It will integrate research with clinical practice, bringing together expertise from various fields in a coordinated approach to rehabilitation. My research project will benefit from having access to such a centre of excellence.

Loughborough has a long-standing reputation in Para sport, including the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport. As a result, I envisage that, on completion of my research, I will have developed multidisciplinary network that will help me to pursue a career that intersects academia, sport and exercise, spinal cord injury, and rehabilitation.

Before I started my PhD, I was working as a physical activity advisor based at the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit in Glasgow. Prior to that, I competed my undergraduate degree in occupational therapy and worked in various settings as an Occupational Therapist.

Intrigued by these roles, as well as my own lived experience of spinal cord injury, I decided to come to Loughborough to investigate the relationship between the social and physical environment and physical activity.

Combining academia and sport

The best thing about my experience so far has been the opportunity to pursue my goals in sport alongside my academic ambitions. Loughborough University values and rewards effort and dedication in these academia and sports, so I feel very well supported in everything I do here.

I am extremely fortunate to benefit from an Elite Athlete Doctoral Scholarship. I compete in wheelchair basketball for Loughborough Lightning within the Women’s Premier League, and I also represent Loughborough University in the wheelchair basketball BUCS League. Recently, I represented my home country, Scotland, in 3X3 Wheelchair Basketball in the Commonwealth Games 2022.

My advice for someone thinking of undertaking a PhD at Loughborough is to believe in yourself and make the most of every opportunity available to you! Reach out to potential supervisors and discuss your research interests. You will find the challenge and reward you have been looking for here at Loughborough.

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