Sirkku Juhola, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland
I was supported by the School of International Development to begin my PhD, which explored the relationship between the environment and society, after completing my MSc degree in 2003. During my PhD, I was surrounded by engaged faculty members from many disciplinary backgrounds and bright and enthusiastic PhD students who shared a passion for research. This exposure enabled me to pursue a career in a multidisciplinary research environment, and so far I have been lucky enough to work in departments ranging from social and public policy, urban planning, geography to environmental science in four different countries. Training students whilst stressing the importance of linking science with policy has always been important in DEV, and these skills support me in one of my current tasks as a scientific advisor to the Finnish government on climate policy.
However, without hesitation I can say that the best part about being a DEV alumnus is the lasting relationships from my time at UEA, both academic and personal, that continue to flourish almost a decade later.
Gbenga Ibikunle, Lecturer/Assistant Professor, University of Edinburgh
I am a Lecturer/Assistant Professor with the University of Edinburgh and an Academic Fellow with the Centre for Responsible Banking and Finance at the University of St Andrews. I also serve on the board of one of the foremost financial markets research centres in Europe, the European Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre (ECMCRC). My position at ECMCRC sees me working together with some of the world's foremost research leaders in financial markets microstructure research. I am convinced that I owe the relative success in launching my academic career to the support and guidance I received from the faculty at the Norwich Business School (NBS) during my time there as a PhD student.
Studying for a PhD at NBS is one of the most inspired decisions I ever made, in the end it turned out to be a no brainer! The NBS PhD programme ensures that students are quickly put through their paces with a view to helping them take charge of their research agenda within a relatively short timeframe. This is done while constant support is provided by world leading academic faculty. My advisors helped devise a development plan tailored to take advantage of my strengths and improve on my weaknesses, they emphasised focus on contemporary research issues and asking headline hitting research questions. Research papers based on my PhD thesis now enjoy global publicity in relevant forums and this has resulted in helping me to build a fast rising research profile a little more than a year into my first job post PhD. The confidence and the skills I have developed as a result of owning my research agenda early on during my study period have prepared me for taking on very challenging positions in high pressure academic and public policy environments. The emphasis put on the link between research and policy during my time at NBS also serves me quite well when providing research-based advice to policy makers. For example, over the past year I have been engaged in giving policy advice to high ranking EU Commission officials on arresting the carbon permit glut in the EU emissions trading market.
I only have fond memories of my time at NBS, where academic development was not the only benefit of time spent there. I also developed lasting relationships with colleagues, these relationships have endured to this day and they traverse work and personal spheres. I continue to work with colleagues from NBS and I hope to continue doing so.
Since 2013-14, the Faculty of Social Sciences Graduate School has run an annual Graduate School Prizes award ceremony recognising the work of our research students. Information about the previous year's winners and their work is available here.