Story Sharing: Emma Cowley:

Without directly involving my target population (adolescent girls) early on in my PhD research, I would have conducted VERY different studies, that most likely would not have been particularly enjoyable or appropriate for adolescent girls. I signed up for a PhD project that was based around invasive physiology techniques, such as blood sampling and muscle biopsies. However, things completely changed after conducting some focus groups with girls around the UK and Ireland. We found that the majority of girls would not EVER sign up to a programme that involved these methods. These focus groups also helped me in understanding what recruitment methods the girls liked best (colorful posters with ‘nice’ images), what types of exercises the intervention should include (they like lots of choice and variety) and they also told me that only dinosaurs now use Facebook (Instagram/ TikTok/ Snapchat are the best ways to get in touch with them!).