Student profile - Ellen Glasgow
I came to the MRC in 2010 to take up a PhD studentship. My PhD is inter-disciplinary, and I am based between the MRC/CSO SPHSU, University of Glasgow and the Centre for the History of Medicine. When I saw the advertisement for studentship, I thought the PhD sounded really interesting and was aware of the MRC’s work and reputation for excellent research. I knew that I wanted to have a future in research, and that this was a fantastic opportunity to take this forward.
In some ways, my background is a little bit less traditional than others in the unit, though there is no ‘normal’ route. Having studied history at both undergraduate and Masters level, the PhD was a bit of a different route for me. Health was a largely new area to me, as were some of the skills I knew I would require to learn for completing the PhD. It has certainly required a huge commitment, and one I did not undertake lightly, but it is one of the most worthwhile things I have ever decided to do. Being inter-disciplinary really makes me think about the relationship between history and lifecourse health, and gives me the opportunity to present my work to different audiences.
I have learned a lot of new skills since I started, and while it has been a learning curve to get to grips with everything, the training and level of support available has made this so much easier. Looking back over the last couple of years, I can see how much I have learned from when I started, and how valuable the skills I have developed will be for my future work. The supervision I have been given is really supportive, and is especially important at the points when I feel like I am ‘lost in the woods’!
It is a very dynamic place to be a student, and this is helpful for the process of doing a PhD. You are so personally invested in your PhD, and there are days when it is difficult. The supportive environment of the MRC/CSO SPHSU, University of Glasgow has been one of the biggest factors for me in terms of keeping me on track and encouraging me!