Name: Fiona Ellis
School: Health Sciences
Research area: Stroke rehabilitation
Bio: Fiona completed a BSc in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, and an MSc in Rehabilitation Psychology at the University of Nottingham prior to starting her PhD at UEA. She is investigating the potential of delivering stroke rehabilitation via a virtual reality device (Xbox Kinect) and has recently finished the first year.
6am to 7am
I usually manage to get from my bed to the car before 7am… on most days. I would love to get some exercise done at this time and imagine at some point throughout the next three years I will manage at least once!
7am to 8.30am
I live in Cambridge and commute to the campus daily, it takes around an hour to drive. On my way I get a chance to relax, practice my tone deaf singing and consider what I need to get done in the day. Every day is a different mixture of: meetings, training, writing and data collection.
8.30am to 10am
At the moment I am preparing for my probationary review. Nine months into the PhD you present your ideas for the next three years in a report and then defend them to a panel- which is a great time to get feedback from the experts. I work best in the morning so try to get some writing done early on and inevitably emails will pop up throughout the day to distract me.
10am to 10.30am
The building I work in has coffee morning every day. It is a great place for cheap, but quality, coffee (and a cheeky biscuit of course), while catching up with everyone I may not see otherwise.
10.30am to 12pm
I have regular meetings with my supervisor to discuss progress and future plans. If there is no meeting I would be writing the protocol for upcoming studies at this point of the day. My project is in collaboration with Virtualware - a company who create technology based rehabilitation systems. The system we are refining currently is aimed at stroke survivors. To include participants in the studies I need to apply to the NHS for ethical approval, which is where my protocol comes in.
12pm to 1pm
Lunch! By the time 11.30 arrives the office is talking about how hungry we all are and what foods sound good! I usually go to lunch with friends but if it gets too busy work-wise a few of us will eat at our desks working/catching-up.
1pm to 3pm
The rehabilitation system my PhD is centered on primarily uses the Xbox Kinect. We have the system set up in the lab connected to a TV, at this point in the day I would go over and ensure it is working for my upcoming study.
3pm to 5pm
Throughout a PhD you carry out training to enhance your professional and personal skills. Today I am attending a session for teacher training, which has refreshments luckily!
5pm to 8pm
The end time of my day varies depending on what I managed to accomplish. Usually I aim for a 5pm finish but sometimes it can be up to 8pm (although I will migrate to the Library for quality writing time). My evenings often consist of meeting up with friends and eating a ridiculous amount of pizza! The University has quite a few postgrad specific events, such as pub quizzes and weekly yoga sessions which I try to attend as often as I can.
8pm to 10pm
By the time I get back to my flat I am usually ready to call it a night. I like spending some down time catching up with the TV.