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The University of Southampton
Health SciencesPostgraduate study

Dan Aze Clinical academic research fellow

First year clinical academic PhD student

Dan Aze's Photo

My research is about the feasibility and potential benefits of exercise for people with advanced colorectal cancer. My clinical doctoral fellowship is funded for four years by the University Southampton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. I receive a stipend to both carry out my research and work clinically as a staff nurse.

I have been incredibly impressed with the University of Southampton. My undergraduate degree gave me the opportunity to achieve the potential I didn’t know I had and uncovered a real passion for learning that has led me to a clinical academic pathway.


My route into nursing was not a conventional one. Previously I has studied sports science and worked in schools for children who had been excluded from mainstream education. My interest in healthcare began when I visited a family member in hospital and spoke to a volunteer there, which led to me volunteering myself and then to apply to study adult nursing here.

I can’t say I was initially ambitious when I began my undergraduate studies, I just hoped that if I worked hard I would manage to pass my degree. As time went on though, my goals became more ambitious, and I eventually graduated with a first class degree.

I never would have previously thought of myself as an academic, but what Southampton really instilled in me was a love of learning and an understanding of the importance of finding out new things. This was built into the course. In the final year of my undergraduate degree I attended a Careers Fair here, and that’s where I found out about the clinical academic posts available.

When the topics for these posts were released it was an area I was really interested in – the feasibility and potential benefits of exercise for patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer.

I began my fellowship in September 2015 and have started six months clinical work at Countess Mountbatten House in the specialist palliative care unit. Following this I will be working two days in practice as a staff nurse and three days researching my topic.

The opportunities for healthcare careers in Southampton are fantastic and it’s also a really nice place to live, benefiting from the advantages of being a city and also convenient to get to other places such as the South Downs, New Forest and nearby beaches.


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