Trainee Clinical Psychologist
Place of work / study:
University College London
Area of Research:
Dementia: Causes, Treatment’s and Research (Neuroscience)
How is your work funded?
Through a partnership with Dementia Researcher and a student loan SAAS
Tell us about your career path to becoming an early career researcher.
While studying Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Glasgow, I tried to gain as much experience in both fields as I could. I completed a few research internships, working with both data and participants, and knew that I wanted to go into research in the future. I continued to chase as many research opportunities as possible throughout my degree and I have now started my MSC in Dementia: Causes, Treatments and Research (Neuroscience). As part of this degree, I will be completing a research project in Parkinson’s and Dementia.
What does your research focus on?
While I still haven’t got a set idea of what research I would like to focus on, I know that I am interested in brain injury, gender differences and Parkinson’s and dementia.
Do you have any advice for someone looking to embark on a career in dementia research?
Don’t be afraid to reach out to people in order to gain experience! Send as many emails as you can and always chase people up – if you don’t ask you’ll never know and you would be surprised how willing people are to offer some experience to young people looking to enter the field.
What are the best bits about being an ECR?
Being able to study something that I am so interested in and reading new and exciting research every day.
What do you see as the main challenges?
Research in general can be quite a hard field to get into and it is of course quite competitive. I’m a first-generation student so not having the right contacts to begin with was tough but it taught me to really put myself out there! Having to balance unpaid experience alongside work and studies was also a challenge at times and can be hard for people who rely on part-time work for the income that they need, but if you can find a way to balance them then it is definitely worth it.
What do you write about?
This year, I am documenting my experience of studying MSc Dementia (neuroscience) at UCL and I hope to encourage other young people to enter a career in the field.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
I hate potatoes! Chips, crisps, roast potatoes, the lot
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
My family have experienced the impact of dementia first hand on multiple occasions. I always had an interest in biology and research and once I had settled on a career in neuroscience, I knew I wanted to specialise in dementia. There is still so much progress to be made and I wanted to be a part of this.