- Course: Civil engineering PhD
- PhD title: Emergency sanitation for children with urinary incontinence
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/claire-rosato-scott/
Claire Rosato-Scott is part of a research and practice partnership that has been awarded funding from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund to conduct research in Bangladesh and Uganda (Children and their caregivers’ experiences with incontinence).
Her supervisors are Dr Dani Barrington and Professor Barbara Evans, part of the Water, Public Health and Environmental Engineering research group.
Understanding children with incontinence and their caregivers in a humanitarian setting
Claire’s research aims to understand the experiences of children aged five to 11 with incontinence, and their caregivers, in humanitarian settings. She said:
“I’m helping to develop new tools to enable humanitarian professionals to create a supportive environment for people in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) that experience incontinence. The goal is to help them to manage their incontinence hygienically, safely, in privacy and with dignity.”
Claire and her colleagues are working in collaboration with both UK-based and overseas teams to implement the research. She continued:
“We will be co-creating a new research methodology with in-country teams to facilitate having conversations with children about incontinence, which the in-country teams will then implement.
“My role is to advise on technical aspects of the methodology, for example: how to ethically involve children in research, and to lead data analysis. It is an 18 month project that will involve several research trips and collaboration with project partners.”
Managing incontinence globally
Claire said: “The research that we are conducting in Bangladesh and Uganda will hopefully result in a new methodology to involve children in research on sensitive issues.”
She added: “It would be great to be able to implement this methodology elsewhere to continue to help unpick the stigma associated with incontinence and provide a deeper understanding of how the condition can be best managed in an emergency context.”
Support, guidance and flexibility
Claire explained the supportive culture at Leeds allows her to develop her research in a way that means she and her colleagues encourage and develop alongside each other. She said:
“My supervisors are just as passionate about helping people that experience incontinence as I am; it is really great to be able to work so closely with them on this research project.
“I want to contribute towards solving a real-world problem that I feel passionate about while working with an inspirational team, namely my ever-supportive supervisors Dr Dani Barrington and Professor Barbara Evans.”
Claire is studying for her PhD remotely from London, allowing her the flexibility to construct her time in the most efficient way. She keeps in touch with her supervisors via Skype tutorials and bespoke meetings, meaning she is able to communicate with the University of Leeds campus and project partners freely.
Working with partners
Studying for a PhD has given Claire a wealth of opportunities including networking with key partners and organisations, and presenting her research across events in the UK and overseas.
She said: “I have years of exciting research ahead of me working with partners including Eclipse Experience, Oxfam, Plan International and Save the Children.
“With Leeds’ encouragement I am already contributing to the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector. I’ve also presented at conferences to raise awareness about the provision of emergency sanitation for children aged five to 11.”
She added: “I’m building a strong foundation of knowledge and experiences that will prove to be invaluable for life after Leeds.”