Lucy Webster, UCL Division of Psychiatry
1. What is your educational background?
I have a BSc in Psychology, and straight after I came to UCL in 2014 to study for an MSc in Clinical Mental Health Sciences. I then worked as a Research Assistant within UCL’s Division of Psychiatry for two years before staring my PhD.
2. What are your motivations for pursuing a PGR?
I wanted to study for a PhD as I was motivated to develop my research skills further, to enhance my career prospects, as well as the opportunity to study a topic in-depth that I was interested in.
3. Why did you apply to UCL Brain Sciences?
I had already studied in the Faculty of Brain Sciences for three years by the time I applied for my PhD, so I knew that I liked the faculty, and in particular the Division of Psychiatry. Across both I knew that there was lots of support available for early career researchers and that there is world class quality research going on, which encouraged me to apply to study for my PhD.
4. What is the best thing about your course?
The best thing about my PhD, although it can be challenging, is getting to learn and develop from the world class researchers within the prestigious faculty and having access to all the opportunities that come with this.
5. What do you find interesting about your field of study and what inspires you?
I am researching sleep problems that people living with dementia can experience, what can cause these problems, and what the impact of this is. I was inspired to primarily research dementia as it something that has affected my family personally, and as it is predicted that more and more people will have dementia in the future, it is of increasing importance for research to improve the everyday lives of people with dementia and their families.
6. What are your career plans once you’ve completed your current programme of study at UCL?
Once I have completed my PhD I hope to have an academic career as a dementia researcher, and as part of my PhD I have completed many courses within UCL Doctoral School to develop my academic and transferable skills needed for this career.
7. Have you undertaken any networking opportunities either as part of your degree or outside of your studies?
UCL has an exchange programme with Yale University specifically for PhD students, and I have been lucky enough to receive funding to undertake an exchange at Yale in the autumn of 2019. I know this will be a great opportunity to widen my academic network internationally. I have also had the opportunity to present at dementia conferences both nationally and internationally, which has enabled me to increase my network.
8. What is it like studying in London and how do you think it has benefited your studies?
Studying in London has benefitted me in so many ways, including the opportunity to attend events such as lectures and networking events, as well the opportunity to make friends with colleagues from around the globe.
9. If you received funding either through a scholarship, award, studentship or bursary, how has it helped you achieve your aspirations and what impact has it had on your studies?
I am funded by a studentship from the UBEL Doctoral Training Partnership, and without this I would not have been able to undertake a PhD on a full-time basis. My funding also provides additional money for research costs such as attending conferences, which has enabled me to present work from my PhD internationally.