Pushing boundaries: Beginning life as a researcher
Ever wondered how you become a researcher? Join us to find out some of the many and varied ways people have got into research. Hear how for some it has always been a passion, while others start research after careers in other areas.
Come along and meet five postgraduate research students at the start of their careers in research and hear about their journeys. Discover how they chose their research topic and how they moved from school subjects - where it feels like everything is known - to cutting-edge work pushing the boundaries of our understanding and knowledge.
Following careers as a professional photographer and teacher, Richard Kearns started a PhD in Singapore, moving to York in 2017 to complete his research. He has had a long fascination with forms of representation in art practice, including two and three dimensional representation, moving image and performance. Recently his attention has focused on the audience experience and his current research investigates why someone might participate in an event, and what happens when they do. (PhD student, Department of Theatre, Film and Television, University of York)
During her first degree, Sarah Masefield started working and volunteering with children and adults with learning disabilities. This inspired her to pursue a career as an Occupational Therapist (OT). But it was the research module and dissertation component of the OT degree that really captured her interest. She gained experience in qualitative research as the patient and public involvement officer of a European respiratory charity. Then, to develop her confidence as a researcher and to get back to working with people with disabilities, she applied to do a PhD at York. Sarah is currently investigating the health and healthcare use of mothers of preschool disabled children. (PhD student, Department of Health Sciences , University of York)
Nigerian-born Joy Ogbemudia migrated to the UK in 2007 to join her husband. She came as an economic migrant with legal rights to work and settle in the UK, but despite being a graduate with six years’ working experience, struggled to get any suitable job in the UK. Even after completing a Masters programme, graduating with merit, her circumstances did not change. While some employers considered her over-qualified for entry-level positions, others considered her under-qualified because she lacked UK working experience. Out of curiosity, she decided to explore the experiences of other professional Nigerian women. (PhD student, Centre for Women’s Studies, University of York)
For Tobías Palma Stade postgraduate research has allowed him to merge his experience in research and his passion for filmmaking and storytelling into one career path. His research explores ways to tell cinematic stories using interactive technology, imagining the narrative of television in the future. (PhD student, Department of Theatre, Film and Television, University of York)
After studying for A levels in English, Music and Drama, Steve Thorpe took a very different path, doing a foundation year at the University of York before embarking on a Masters in Electronic Engineering with Nanotechnology. For him, the desire to go into research stems from his belief that science and technology should be used to improve people’s lives and a wish to work on a ‘big problem’. Drawing on his interests and skills in nanotechnology and microbiology, he is now researching anti-microbial resistance. (PhD student, Department of Biology, University of York)