Tell us a bit about yourself - what stage of your PhD are you in and what's your project about?
Hi, I’m Chloe, a 2nd year PhD student from Bournemouth University. I am researching the mental health of postgraduate researchers and I am currently designing interventions that may improve their wellbeing. Postgraduate research is a major source of scientific advancement and societal benefit. Therefore, it is important that universities have strategies for embedding tailored support to increase their wellbeing so they are more able to cope with postgraduate research study. My wellbeing interventions will be coproduced with postgraduate researchers to increase their relevance and address the specific challenges they face.
What does a typical day or week look like for you?
I am lucky enough to share an office with a great group of PhD students and early career researchers who inspire me everyday. When I’m not out interviewing postgraduate researchers or meeting with my supervisors I am in the office transcribing, reading and planning the next steps. Alongside my PhD I am also a member of King’s College London’s Student Mental Health Research Network (SMARTEN) as part of their Student Research team. This keeps me up to date with the latest student mental health research as I am involved in the planning, data collection and analysis of the network’s research.
What's one thing that you've enjoyed the most during your PhD?
I love everything about my PhD. I feel very lucky to have the time to immerse myself in a topic I am so passionate about. Ultimately, I hope my research will make a difference for future students.
What's been the most challenging part of it?
The biggest challenge for me is balancing my PhD and my family life. It is sometimes hard to draw the line and take time away from work, especially as I enjoy it so much! I always ensure I have special things planned in with my daughter every week like ballet and swimming classes. These activities mean we have quality time together and ensure I take a break too.
Where do you see yourself 5 years after completing your PhD?
I would love to continue researching as a post doctoral researcher so I’m keeping my eye out for opportunities!
What's one piece of advice that you'd offer students that are thinking of doing a PhD?
Read up on what a PhD is like, it is important that you know what to expect. It is a very different type of study; intense, autonomous and sometimes lonely. You have to be very self-motivated and driven. But I promise, if you are passionate about the subject you want to research, you will love it! A PhD is challenging but it is the most transformative and rewarding experience.
What makes your university a good place to study?
Bournemouth is the most beautiful place to live and Bournemouth University is a great place to study. As well as being one of the most sustainable universities in the world they have a fantastic offering of academic and wellbeing support for students. In particular, the Researcher Development Programme that the Doctoral College offer is exceptional, tailored to the needs of postgraduate researchers. I would highly recommend that you take a look at any opportunities at BU!
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Firstly, it is very important to have a life outside of your research! I spend my spare time with family and friends, at the gym or at the beach.