Brendan Lawson

I studied History here at undergraduate level, and I got a sense of how the past affects how we speak and act today. For my PhD, I’m looking at how journalists use statistics when covering crises across the world – whether this helps us understand things better, or if it induces paralysis where we feel we can’t help.

I’ve found Leeds Doctoral College really helpful as they offer courses to help you with your research all the way through your time at the University. They’re great at providing information about where you can apply for different types of funding. The Doctoral College definitely makes you feel like you’re part of a virtual community.

We have a Researchers in Development Network in the School of Politics and International Studies. It’s a great place to present your research and collaborate with others. There was a Network conference recently, mainly for new researchers and lecturers. Through that I connected with someone in Geography. We're in different departments but we’re working on projects with a similar focus. We’re planning to put a joint paper out soon.

I’m also part of the Leeds University Centre for African Studies: a small, interdisciplinary group of postgraduate researchers. It's a great way for people to collaborate across different departments, and you get a fresh perspective on your research area.

I’ve recently published a book chapter with my supervisor, which included research I conducted – great for my professional development! I’ve also been doing some teaching, which was rewarding.

I'd like to stay in academia. I get a lot out of talking to people about ideas because every single person offers you something new, as well as you hopefully offering something new to them, and I love the research process.

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