Tell us a bit about yourself – what stage of your PhD are you in and what’s your project about?I am currently just beginning the second year of my PhD research project. My project focuses on digital competence and the support that secondary school teachers need in order to meet the demands of the Digital Competence Framework and other similar conceptual frameworks within European and International contexts and examples. In terms of current progress, I have conducted a comprehensive review of the literature and am now beginning to consider sampling methods and research methods with the aim of beginning data collection, in the form of semi-structured interviews, before summer begins.
What does a typical day or week look like for you?Each day and week can range considerably for me personally as I have various roles and responsibilities at the university alongside my PhD studies. I do some video editing, data extraction and research assistant work so I need to balance my workload throughout the week. This will usually result in my mornings being focused on the research project I work on (SHOUT4HE, www.shout4he.eu) and my afternoons focusing on my PhD research.
What’s one thing that you’ve enjoyed the most during your PhD?I find that I am enjoying the steep learning curve the most when looking at my PhD studies so far. The increased exposure to academia and the level of understanding that is required for this level is extremely interesting to learn.
What’s been the most challenging part of it?I think motivation is a difficult element of doing a PhD as you can struggle to see an end goal or target when the project could last many years. I have struggled with this so far but try to remind myself that the study is a long term project and needs to be broken down into manageable sections that I can work on.
Where do you see yourself 5 years after completing your PhD?I hope to see myself becoming established within the lecturing and researching world. Hopefully, I will be employed to do both of these at a university with the freedom to explore some of my personal research interests.
What’s one piece of advice that you’d offer students that are thinking of doing a PhD?I would remind them that doing a PhD is still part of the learning process. You do not need to be the finished article or an expert in your respective field to be able to do a PhD. I still find myself learning new things everyday and that will continue to happen long into the future, so as long as you have the right attitude and mindset then you can definitely take on a PhD!
What makes your university a good place to study?Cardiff Metropolitan University does a good job of making its’ students feel respected and valued within the university’s ethos and wider community. The relationship between staff and students is crucial to this as it makes the learning process feel like a team effort and common goal for all involved.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?I try to relax as much as I can when I am not in the office or at the university campus. Personally, I am a big fan of football and watch a lot of the live Premier League games on a weekend. I also try to spend time with my partner as much as possibly, work schedules permitting, so we can unwind and de-stress together.
Want to know more about Sammy?Follow his personal, research and podcast twitter accounts, visit his research team website or send the GetThePhTea podcast team an email using the links below: