North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership

“Take one day at a time and find ways to move forward”

Cath Hill, Social Work, University of Lancaster, ESRC Alumni

On the morning of the 23rd May 2017, a year and a half into my PhD studies at Lancaster University, I composed an email to my supervisors. It was quite matter of fact in tone, I simply informed them that my youngest son and I had been at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, when a suicide bomber detonated a bomb. I told them that I was OK, and I just thought I should let them know.

When I think back, I truly believed that at the time, I did think I was OK. As messages from friends and family came in, I started to think that I should feel more than just OK, after all, everyone was telling me how lucky we were. I recall standing with people as they hugged me and smiled and said how pleased they were to see me. I remember forcing a smile and thinking to myself, what is wrong with you? My son had just escaped death or serious injury and yet the last thing I was feeling was lucky.

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Are certain characters – stereotypes – in Agatha Christie’s novels more or less likely to be murderers than others?

James Jackson, Social Statistics, Lancaster University, 2019 Cohort

This October marks the centenary of the publication of The Mysterious Affair at Styles, the debut novel of Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie. Born in 1890, Agatha Christie was a prolific writer of detective stories. She wrote 66 full-length novels – and several other books under the pseudonym of Mary Westmacott – prior to her death in 1976. She is the best-selling fiction writer of all time.

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My PhD has always been a bit unusual

Judit Fazekas, Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychology, University of Liverpool

As I’m (finally!) at the other side of my PhD, having defended my thesis this March, I thought I would tell you a bit about the life after. My PhD has always been a bit unusual – as soon as I arrived to Liverpool my primary supervisor took up a job at the amazing Max Planck Institute of Psycholinguistics (MPI). While this is the dream destination for all language researchers, it had a small downside from the point of view of my PhD: namely that it is in a completely different country! While working with an off-site supervisor might be the subject of a whole different blog post, this one is about what happened afterwards, when my dream also came true and I got to join Caroline in the MPI for a year after my PhD.

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Liverpool Fashion Summit


Liverpool Fashion Summit took place from the 9th to the 11th of September 2020, and was funded by the NWSSDTP via the Northern Fusion Fund. Postponed due to the pandemic, it was hosted online. As a student-led event, it provided a platform for businesses, consumers and academics to debate and discuss industry trends and best practice, raise awareness of the key barriers to change, and look to ourselves to explore the part we can all play.

What did you miss?  

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