What motivated you to come to Bristol and do this programme?
The main attraction of Bristol as a base for my PhD was the world class experts at Bristol in my field of interest and the Wellcome Trust program. The school of Social and Community Medicine also has an excellent track record of successful PhDs and offers an excellent short course training program.
What is the key research question of your PhD research project and what have you found out so far?
I am investigating how socioeconomic position relates to suicide and self-harm risk in a rural community in northern Sri Lanka using a cross-sectional and prospective dataset. In particular, the effect of individual and area level socioeconomic position in relation to suicide has not been investigated previously in Sri Lanka. Using a large (>200,000 individuals) dataset, I will be able to successfully model this using multi-level modelling. My preliminary analysis has suggested that lower socioeconomic position is related to increased risk of reported suicide.
Where do you think your research could lead and what are your future career plans now?
A better understanding of the association of socioeconomic position in relation to suicide risk will help identify particularly vulnerable groups for targeted prevention strategies. I hope that the findings from my PhD will form a strong basis from which I can build a strong postdoctoral fellowship application.