Janet Kelly, Industrial PhD Fellow, Novo Nordisk R&D STAR programme

Out of the lab

I fell in love with Copenhagen at first sight. It has all the advantages of a well run Scandinavian city but with a continental European feel. I cycle around the city on sunny days and love to sit in a café by the lakes. I have also caught the exercise bug, starting running, and have joined a rowing club, which is great for both exercise and the social experience.

Janet Kelly

Industrial PhD Fellow

“A great advantage of being a STAR fellow is getting lots of input from experts employed at Novo Nordisk device R&D and knowing that the work I am doing can fairly quickly end up making a difference to patients with diabetes.”

My life as a STAR fellow

My STAR PhD fellowship with Novo Nordisk is about developing design interventions and solutions that improve injection devices, products and services for diabetes patients. Diabetes is an incredibly complex disease that requires patients to take control of their own treatment and will affect all aspects of their lives. As an industrial designer I take pride in knowing that my research will be applied directly in making patients’ lives easier.

One of the great advantages of being a STAR fellow is getting lots of input from experts employed at Novo Nordisk R&D and knowing that the work I am doing can fairly quickly end up making a difference to patients with diabetes.

Cross organisational and out of the box collaborations

My work is particularly interesting because it involves multiple cross-organisational collaborations within R&D. I work very closely with another STAR PhD fellow, who has a background in anthropology. Together we are trying to understand the experiences of people with diabetes, who are faced with the prospect of starting injection treatment. We have both visited patients in their homes as well as observed them in clinical settings in order to understand how to help them overcome their fears and feel confident about their treatment. The project also involves cross-company collaboration between Novo Nordisk and a Danish hearing-aid device company, Oticon, giving us the opportunity to compare the experience of potential users of different technologies.

Stimulating working environment

I am originally from Scotland. Getting the STAR fellowship has made it possible for me to come and do my PhD with Novo Nordisk R&D in Denmark. Working as part of the Device R&D team is very rewarding. I find my colleagues’ enthusiasm, deep empathy with the end users and determination to improve the treatment of diabetes through better devices a source of constant inspiration.