I completed an MSc in Health Services Research in 2006 and have been in full-time employment at the University since then. I am working in a research group and decided to do a PhD for several reasons: I’ve always wanted to do one, but haven’t had the right opportunities; the project I am working on is a three-year contract so presents me with the ideal opportunity to do a PhD alongside; the subject interests me; and I'm in a supportive group environment, providing the ideal context for postgraduate study.
My PhD focuses on the challenges of implementing responsiveness in primary care, given the competing interests of lofty goals of policy versus the reality of making responsiveness work in primary care, in the complex environment of NHS reorganisation. This sits alongside my full-time day job to develop a patient-report measure of responsiveness in primary care. As the project is based in Leicester, this seemed to be a natural home for my postgraduate study.
Staff in my department are flexible, encouraging and knowledgeable, and I feel that I am very well supported. I’m not sure what I’ll do once I’ve finished my degree yet, I’m leaving my options open. I may seek funding for a research fellowship or possibly a lectureship, if one is available locally.
The campus is much better than it was in the 1990s when I was an undergraduate! It’s modern, clean, easy to access, and fit-for-purpose. The best thing about it, for me, is the greenery. The campus is an oasis of trees and plants, and Victoria Park next door provides a large green area in the midst of a busy part of the city. The city is a great place too – small enough to know your way around but big enough to provide for your needs.
I would recommend Leicester to a new student and one piece of advice I would give to a new student starting here is be yourself. There is no typical postgraduate student – value the diversity.