PhD student Emma Tickle, who juggled a busy home and work life during her five years of study, is among those graduating.
Emma’s research explored the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder in people with bipolar disorder. She looked at how common it was to receive both diagnoses and the features associated with having both, as well as talking to people with both borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder about their experiences.
Emma studied Psychology with Education Studies at the University as an undergraduate and was lucky enough to work with the Bipolar Disorder Research Network (BDRN) as a vacation research assistant the summer before her graduation. A year after her undergraduate degree, she successfully applied to do a PhD with the BDRN at the University of Worcester.
“I quickly realised that I wanted to keep learning and researching,” she said. “It was obvious to me that I wanted to continue my education here at the University as I loved my undergraduate degree and was always fascinated by the stories my lecturers told me about their research. Having the chance to conduct my own research here was something I couldn't pass up.”
Emma achieved a lot during her studies, including a Best Poster Award at an international conference, and has been involved with the postgraduate research conference at the University and in helping undergraduates at Worcester with their research projects. She said: “I travelled the country interviewing people for my research, attended international conferences both in-person and online, and got far too excited about meeting people whose names I recognised from my own citations. Looking back, it has truly been an incredible experience.”
“Doing a PhD is an isolating thing, but the University really pushed for us research students to get to know each other and develop a support network. There were ups and downs as there are in all programmes of study, but I think that developing those friendships with people going through similar experiences was key to me sticking with it.” During her PhD Emma juggled a lot within her personal life, including planning a wedding and getting married, moving house three time and family illness. “Finding a way to balance personal and professional priorities was a must for me and a skill I'm definitely taking forward into my future work,” she said.
Emma is currently working on writing up her thesis for publication along with her supervisors and has also been hired as an associate lecturer at the University of Worcester. She plans to stay in academia, continuing in researching and teaching.
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