Hi Moosa! Can you please tell us a little bit about your research?
Food retail environments, where we buy food and drinks for consumption, currently do not encourage the purchase of healthy products. Food retailers are businesses and therefore any voluntary changes to retail environments to increase their healthiness, also need to meet the business’s own commercial needs. My PhD project aims to investigate which business outcomes are important to retailers and how they can be included in cost-effectiveness analyses – filling an important gap in the current assessment of the economic credentials of healthy food retail interventions. My research will add to the literature by valuing and incorporating business outcomes of healthy food retail strategies into economic evaluations. It will help determine the strategies that are likely to be most acceptable to food retailers and therefore enhance implementation and sustainability.
What inspired you to work in research?
I finished my medical degree in Oman in 2009. I worked in primary health care and public health promotion for a few years before joining the Department of Health Investment at the Ministry of Health in Oman. At this point, I recognised the importance of health economics in decision-making and resource allocation. To improve my knowledge and skills, I undertook a Master’s in Health Economics at Deakin University, on campus from 2018-2020. Studying at Deakin University gave me an opportunity to work with the best health economists in their field, which inspired me to continue my research studies. Luckily, upon the completion of my master’s degree, I gained a PhD scholarship with REFRESH in IHT.
If you could recommend one book for everyone at IHT to read, what would that be?
Honestly, I don’t usually read textbooks. Instead, I focus on reading published articles and guidelines related to my work. I would encourage students to read the following papers/guidelines. They are very helpful for students who are planning to do a discrete choice experiment as part of their Ph.D.
- Conjoint analysis applications in health—a checklist: a Report of the ISPOR Good Research Practices for Conjoint Analysis Task Force.
- Statistical methods for the analysis of discrete choice experiments: a report of the ISPOR Conjoint Analysis Good Research Practices Task Force.
- Constructing experimental designs for discrete-choice experiments: report of the ISPOR Conjoint Analysis Experimental Design Good Research Practices Task Force.
You’ve got a Saturday afternoon completely to yourself, what would we find you doing?
Since I am involved in other projects apart from my Ph.D., sometimes I spend the weekend finishing my work. But when I am free, I like to spend time with my friends, do grocery shopping, watch a movie, play football, and walk.
And finally, what is the best lesson you have learned so far during your research career?
The PhD journey requires a lot of effort. Having a clear plan of what you are going to do and managing your time will make this journey easier for you. Don’t be scared to get in touch with your supervisors. If you face any difficulties. They are happy to support you and guide you. I would encourage all Ph.D. students to consider working on other projects. This will help them collaborate with other researchers and gain experience on different topics and research methodologies. Most important, don’t stress yourself. You need to develop a good balance between work and life.