I left school to train as a nurse and was working as a research sister in 1996 when an advert caught my eye for an ESRC CASE studentship in the Department of Social and Political Science at Royal Holloway, with Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust. I had juggled both my undergraduate and masters degrees with having young children and working, so applying for the full-time studentship and subsequently resigning from the NHS was a huge decision to make, and it literally changed my life.
As an ESRC CASE student, I had both an academic and workplace supervisor; despite my thinking at the time that my academic supervisor was far too tough on me, the quality of supervision I received was outstanding. I now value greatly the attention to thought and detail that my supervisor ingrained in me during this time. Similarly, Royal Holloway's provision for ESRC students in terms of staff expertise, interaction with other students, desk space, library stock and conference attendance all enabled my research to take a strong academic shape.
I am now a Senior Lecturer at King’s College London, having worked as a research fellow and lecturer at King’s since being awarded my PhD in 2001. My doctoral training gave me an excellent grounding in conducting sociological research and has enabled me to apply for and be awarded research council funding of my own, and to supervise PhD students, hopefully to a standard as high as those at Royal Holloway.