GCDC Affiliate Students are an interdisciplinary community of PhDs with shared research interests that align with Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) themes. The GCDC affiliate student scheme is open to all PhD students currently enrolled at the University of Kent, and more information about the scheme and how to apply can be found here.


Alafaka Tobin, PhD in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Supervisors: Dr Heejung Chung and Dr Catherine Marchand

Title of PhD research project: Burnout among Resident Doctors in Nigeria: The mediating role of work-family balance and policy recommendations.

PhD project description: My work is on burnout among Resident Doctors in Nigeria. It is important because burnout is occurring more frequently among doctors and often has a harmful effect on the doctor, patients and the health institution. The study aims at exploring the antecedents of burnout among resident doctors and the mediating role of work-family balance on burnout. The jobs demand and resources model will be used in this study. The study will employ both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection. Quantitative methods will entail the administration of Maslach burnout inventory while the qualitative aspects will be in-depth interviews.

Biography: Alafaka Tobin is a Fellow of the National Post Graduate Medical College of Nigeria. She has a diploma and Masters in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of London respectively. She is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Kent and her work is on “Burnout among Resident Doctors in Nigeria”. She has participated in a number of research projects, presented papers at conferences and has published two articles. Her most recent article was on trends in mantoux positivity in a tertiary institution in Nigeria.


Aniema Atorudibo, PhD in the School of Economics

Supervisors: Dr Zaki Wahhaj and Dr Guy Tchuente

Title of PhD research project: Cultural Norms and Female Labor Force Participation in Sub-Saharan Africa

PhD project description: The project studies the influence of socio-cultural norms on the economic welbeing of women in developing countries with specific reference to African countries. It examines how the norms of behaviour within a kinship/descent group affect women’s ability to work outside of their homes, control their resources and participate in household decision making. These norms are important determinants of the peristent gender gap in education, employment and income that is common in most African societies and that limit women’s contribution to national development.

Biography: I have training in economics and am currently studying for my Doctorate in Economics. Prior to registering for my PhD in 2017/2018, I was teaching Economics and Business at the Polytechnic in my home country of Nigeria for close to seven years. My interest is in development economics and I intend to spend my post-training years doing research in the areas of poverty, gender and sustainable development.


Pattamanan Poonseripipat, PhD in SSPSSR

Title of PhD research project: Understanding Networked Affect in Online Appeals for Giving in Thailand

PhD project description: The project examines the working of affect in emotive representations of suffering that are used in donation appeals on online platforms in Thailand. Particular attention is paid to the dynamic and distinctive characteristics of affect which is circulated online or ‘networked affect’ and responses to such affect in terms of giving or emotions among others.

Biography: I have lived in Thailand for more than 30 years. I obtained a degree in sociology and worked for the state’s telecommunication company for 7 years. I later received a scholarship from the government to study Sociology (both Master’s and PhD). I graduated with my Master’s from SSPSSR and am now doing a PhD (also in SSPSSR). After graduation, I will become a lecturer in a provincial university according to conditions of my scholarship. My interest is in the area of affect, digital sociology and philanthropic activities.