In recent years, EU–China trade relations have grown very fast and agriculture has become an important sector for EU imports from, and exports to, China. However, many trade barriers relating to safety issues, standardisation and traceability (including fraud) in agri-food products persist, and hamper trade predictability. During Christine’s two-year Fellowship in UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, she explored the implications of digital marketing technologies in public engagement with food safety information, focusing on communication, consumer confidence building, and trade barriers. Her project, entitled ‘EU China Safe’, was completed under the guidance of Professor Patrick Wall and supported by a generous donation from Kerry Group.
This research was embedded in the EU- China-Safe project, and the overall aim was to collect evidence and generate effective communication tools to help increase Chinese consumers’ confidence in food safety control.
Dr Shan enjoyed the flexibility of the Fellowship and the room for self- exploration: “In a typical postdoctoral role the researcher is usually tightly bound to a particular project, and working on a fully packed timeline to meet deadlines and deliver outputs, whereas a Newman Fellow has time and energy to explore and expand in all possible areas”.
As a result of my Fellowship, I have become a more competent researcher who can independently lead a study project from planning to completion. The Fellowship inspired me to think bigger without boundaries.
Dr Christine Shan