Over the past six months four of the doctoral students within the Centre for Social Informatics who have recently completed, or are close to completion, of their PhDs have already embarked on their post-PhD careers.
The first current student to enter the job market was Lyndsey Middleton. Lyndsey actually secured her post almost a year ago in May 2018 following her paid SGSSS internship with the Scottish Government in the Health and Social Care Integration directorate within eHealth: Policy & Strategy. When Lyndsey started her new role in November 2018 she dropped to part-time hours to complete her PhD, and is currently on target to submit in summer 2019. Lyndsey now works as an Assistant Statistician in the Housing Statistics Team within the Housing and Social Justice Directorate of the Scottish Government. Her role involves the collection of housing related data and information from local authorities across Scotland, then collating and comparing these with data and information from other sources. Lyndsey also supports the analysis of housing statistics, as well as the presentation of the findings. In addition, Lyndsey’s work involves stakeholder engagement with the local authorities across Scotland that provide the raw housing data, as well as end users of the statistical sources that her team produces.
In January 2019 Frances Ryan, who submitted her PhD thesis at the end of October 2018, took up the role of part-time postdoc researcher on a Carnegie Research Incentive Grant, which she was awarded with our colleague Dr Gemma Webster in summer 2018. Frances is involved in all aspects of the project entitled Social media by proxy: strategies for managing the online profiles of adults with dementia, from research design to the reporting of the findings. Today, Frances starts a second part-time postdoc post on the TAPESTRY project with Professor Wendy Moncur and other members of the Digital Living group at the University of Dundee. Meanwhile Frances is working on the minor corrections to her PhD thesis, as requested by her examiners at her viva on 28th February, and expects to collect her PhD certificate at the Edinburgh Napier University graduation ceremony on 4th July 2019.
The third Centre for Social Informatics doctoral student to recently take on paid employment while completing her thesis write-up is Lynn Killick. In February 2019 Lynn started a part-time role with the Scottish Funding Council as a Senior Policy Analyst. The main focus of her job is to advance equality in the university and college sectors in Scotland. Like Lyndsey Middleton, Lynn plans to submit her PhD thesis in summer 2019.
Alicja Pawluczuk is also hoping to submit her thesis around the same time as Lyndsey Middleton and Lynn Killick. She has been employed part-time by the Department of Communication and Media at the University of Liverpool since March 2019. Here she is a Research Associate on a Nuffield Foundation project entitled Me and my big data. Alongside Professor Simeon Yates, Dr Elinor Carmi, and Dr Tamara West, Alicja‘s work on this project is focused on an examination of citizen digital literacy skills across the UK with the objective of producing (a) digital literacy training materials for schools, third-sector, and universities and (b) policy recommendations on data literacy education in the UK.
Meanwhile our most recent PhD graduate Dr John Mowbray, who collected his PhD certificate in November 2018, is already settling into his second post-PhD job role. Like the others noted above, John took up his first post just before he completed his doctoral studies. This was as an Information Analyst within NHS National Services Scotland. John held this role for just over a year from January 2018 before moving to Glasgow. He is now a Research Associate within the School of Social and Political Sciences at Glasgow University, working on a project entitled Quantitative network analysis of appointment diaries.
The successes of Lyndsey, Frances, Lynn, Alicja, and John as noted above demonstrate the value of doctoral study as preparation for the job market, and are testament to the calibre of the PhD students within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University.