Really impressed by all the questions i've had so far. So interesting!
Whitby High School 2005-2010, West Cheshire College 2010-2012, Keele University 2012-now.
10.5 A*-B GCSEs, BTEC National Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care (D* D* D), BSc in Psychology and Criminology (1st class), MSc in Psychology of Health and Wellbeing (Distinction), and working on my PhD in Psychology now.
I've worked in retail, an elderly care home and as a Research Assistant. I currently work in a mental health hospital, and of course at Keele as a PhD researcher!
PhD Student in Psychology at Keele University, I also work part-time at a mental health hospital as a support worker.
Favourite thing to do in my job: I love listening to my participants' stories, they're so interesting! My favourite thing is to get lost in these stories and my data. I can sit down with a pile of papers, highlighters, and put my headphones on and next thing it's 7pm and the cleaners are hoovering around me.
I'm 24, a PhD student in Psychology and I like to knit and rock-climb (not at the same time of course).
I’m Claire, I’m 24 and i’m a PhD student at Keele University in the psychology department (sorry to disappoint, but no I can’t read your mind!). I also work as a mental health support worker in a psychiatric hospital. I live with my boyfriend in Chester and at the moment we’re trying to decide whether to buy a kitten or a guinea pig to join our little family. I’m a bit of a grandma, so when I’m not working at the university or at my part-time job, you can usually find me snuggled on the sofa watching Netflix and knitting. I also really love the outdoors, so sometimes you might find me rock climbing or hiking a mountain!
I study the language that we use, specifically looking at the way we talk about alcohol use.
My PhD project is all about alcohol use and how we talk about it. How do we describe alcoholism? What do we think is ‘normal’ drinking? Who do we blame for alcohol addiction?
My research looks at how we talk about describe different types of alcohol use. I collect data from online such as from blogs and Twitter. I also run focus groups. I then analyse all of this data to look at patterns of how we talk about these issues.
My Typical Day
This is no such thing as a typical day! Some days i'm running group interviews, some days i'm analysing data and some days i'm reading papers or even writing my own paper.
As a PhD student, my job is to complete a project for 3 years. This includes thinking of the project, carrying it out, analysing it and writing it up – it’s a lot of work!
At the moment i’m in the middle of collecting my data. That means that i’m sending lots of emails and having lots of meetings with people to find times when we can set up a focus group. This means having 5-10 people in a room and asking them a list of questions and getting everyone to talk and discuss.
This group is audio recorded and after this group I have to write down everything that was said. This takes a very long time! When I have done this for all my focus groups (6 of them), then I can start to analyse the data and figure out what my findings tell me.
What I'd do with the prize money
I would run an interactive alcohol awareness workshop in local primary and secondary schools where students can run an experiment and experience what it's like to be drunk (there is no alcohol involved though!)
With the £500 prize money I would buy some equipment, including drinking goggles. When you wear these drinking goggles they make you feel and act as though you are drunk, without drinking any alcohol!
My plan is to use these goggles to run an alcohol awareness workshop in primary and secondary schools. This will include having students running an experiment. I will ask students to complete a few tasks such as throwing a ball or walking ina striaght line and time themselves. Then, they will complete the tasks again but wearing the goggles. Students will then be able to see the difference in times and see how being drunk affects your reactions.
I also hope to team up with a local alcohol charity who will then provide some information and run the end of the session about alochol and its dangers.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Chatty, Excitable, Psychologist.
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
I'm still at the very start of my career but in September i'll be going to Sweden for a week to study with an expert in my method. This will also be a chance to meet some great people in my area and i'm really excited to have this opportunity!
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
My university dissertation supervisor (like a teacher who helps you with a huge project). I actually found research really boring until she introduced me to a new research method. Then it just sort of 'clicked' for me and I became really passionate about research. There are so many different areas and it's different for everyone, you just need to find one which interests you.
What was your favourite subject at school?
History, I was fascinated with WW2.
What did you want to be after you left school?
I wanted to be a lawyer because I have an answer for everything (hopefully this will help me with I'm a Scientist!). I also wanted to be a counsellor because some of my friends struggled with mental health and I wanted to be able to help. In the end I couldn't choose and so I studied psychology and criminology to see which I liked most.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Absolutely not. if someone shouted at me I would burst into tears... I still do!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I would probably have gone to study law. I watch a lot of Suits and still think that being a lawyer looks awesome. Or I might teach outdoor sports like rock-climbing and mountaineering, bit of a difference!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I will listen to almost anything, but I will always have a soft spot for Panic! at the Disco.
What's your favourite food?
Definitely pizza, I actually have a tattoo of a pizza slice.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
During the second year of my undergraduate degree I moved to America for 6 months to study abroad. I met some incredible people who I still travel the world to spend time with now! I also spent a weekend in Alabama where I learnt to rock-climb and camped under the stars. It was an amazing opportunity and definitely one of my life highlights.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To be successful in my career, to do research that will actually help people, and to be genuinely happy.
Tell us a joke.
I'd tell you a chemistry joke, but I know I wouldn't get a reaction. (I'm a big fan of puns)