My decision to pursue a PhD at the Department of International Politics (InterPol) stemmed from the excellence of the research undertaken there. I was awarded funding under a European Research Council (ERC) project, ‘Transformation of Global Health Governance: Competing World Views and Crises’, run jointly by the Centre for Health and International Relations (CHAIR) at Aberystwyth and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). As a result, I was given the opportunity to study with a group of scholars at the forefront of shaping academic engagement and debate in the field. I knew that there was no other place I wanted to pursue my degree. The attention and support given to PhD candidates at InterPol, and the close-knit academic community fostered in the department, make the PhD programme at InterPol unique. This has undoubtedly made me a better researcher.
In 2014 my doctoral dissertation was selected as the ‘Best PhD Thesis’ by the Academic Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES). Today I am a Scientia postdoctoral research fellow working as part of the Oslo Group on Global Health Policy at the Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo. As the only person with an international politics background in the group, my experiences and training from Aberystwyth have been invaluable in informing the work I am currently undertaking.
I came to the International Politics Department as an exchange student during my Master in International Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies - and never really left again after that.
For me, this department provides the perfect combination of intellectual challenges and a warm and supportive community. During conversations with other PhD students or lecturers and professors in the department, I am constantly encouraged to think about my project in new ways. There are so many fantastic scholars here that it is nearly impossible to not get inspired to imagine new ways of thinking about one's own work. Yet, this is not only a place of academic exchange, but also a community. There were various times in which my fellow PhD students, lecturers and staff gave me fantastic advice on my project and the challenges of working towards a career in academia - I could not imagine a better place to do my PhD.