Two PhD candidates at the School of Nursing & Midwifery have received scholarships as part of the China Scholarship Council (CSC) – Trinity College Dublin Joint Scholarship Programme, an opportunity which is open to Chinese students who wish to pursue a PhD at Trinity.

For the recipients, Junyang Song and Fen Xie, this scholarship comes as a valuable opportunity at this early stage in their research careers.

Discover more about their planned research and why they wanted to complete their PhD in Nursing and Midwifery here at Trinity.

Photo of PhD candidate

Junyang Song, PhD Candidate

"My PhD study (Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing and Midwifery (Full-Time)) will focus on exploring the impact of lifestyle patterns on the cognitive health of older adults with cardiometabolic multimorbidity (CMM). The objective is to identify the risk factors associated with cognitive impairment, as well as the barriers and facilitators of behavioural changes. This research aims to contribute to the development of evidence-based lifestyle interventions in the future. I aim to establish a comprehensive theoretical framework to guide caregiving practices and self-care strategies specifically tailored to address both cardiometabolic multimorbidity and cognitive health. This study area has always intrigued me, and I am deeply passionate about delving deeper into it.

For several reasons, I decided to pursue my PhD studies at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin. The school has a strong international reputation and offers a rigorous academic environment. It also provides world-class teaching, resources, and opportunities for interdisciplinary cooperation.

My supervisors, Dr Sharon O'Donnell and Dr Frances O'Brien, are highly accomplished researchers in cardiovascular care, and value the integration of academic research with practical applications. My research aligns closely with the overall research strategy of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, particularly in the areas of innovation, ageing, and chronic diseases. I am looking forward to conducting independent research in the School, to explore cutting-edge problems in ageing and cardiovascular health.

 Additionally, Trinity conducts important research projects, including the TILDA and IDS-TILDA cohort studies. Doctoral students can participate in these large-scale projects to gain a deep understanding of health issues in older adults. The international partnerships provide opportunities for collaboration and research exchanges with other top universities and medical institutions, exposing them to different views and best practices in nursing and healthcare.

This scholarship represents a pivotal achievement in my academic and professional advancement. It not only offers financial support and recognition for my research but also provides an invaluable opportunity to make meaningful contributions to the fields of nursing and health."

Photo of PhD candidateFen Xie, PhD Candidate

"My PhD in Nursing and Midwifery will focus on ageing, which is an important challenge globally, especially for countries with large populations such as China. While increases in longevity are to be celebrated, the increase in the older population is leading to a higher demand for health care and social care, as well as increased pressure on care resources and services internationally. China is seeking to learn from international experiences, to respond to challenges associated with an ageing society, an aspect of which is an increasing risk of unmet healthcare needs. Trinity is the host of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), which is a large-scale, nationally representative, longitudinal study on ageing in Ireland. The Trinity Centre for Practice & Healthcare Innovation (TCPHI) also has provenance in age related nursing and interdisciplinary research aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of health care services.

My supervisors are Professor Anne-Marie Brady and Dr Louise Daly. Professor Brady has over 30 years of clinical practice, education and research experience in innovation, mixed method research, chronic illness, health care management, and has gained significant understanding of health service delivery issues in both the Irish and international context. Dr Daly is an Associate Professor in Ageing and Community Nursing and her clinical, education and research interests are in care of the older adult, with experience in interpretive and review methodology. I have worked closely with my supervisors to develop my PhD proposal. This PhD proposal is aligned with the mission of the TCPHI and with Chinese health policy which seeks to re-configure services, to inform the development and optimisation of the delivery of care resources for older people to enable effective and integrated clinical care pathways.

We are grateful to the experts from both countries for their initial recognition of our research. This strengthens our confidence in further in-depth investigation. This also provides valuable development opportunities for my future career development and international perspective expansion."