Studying a PhD is a significant undertaking, and one that requires a great deal of trust and co-operation between the PhD candidate and the academic staff who supervise them throughout their journey. Studying at the right university is extremely important, as is working with suitably qualified staff.

Reputation and expertise

Morgane Kimmich agrees, and based her decision to study at LSBU on our expertise in the area of her PhD: Journalism, Politics, Social Media and Emotions. “First and foremost, it was the reputation and expertise of my supervisors that convinced me LSBU was the place for me,” she says. “I also chose it because the School of Arts and Creative Industries has a good reputation for the quality of its research.”

Developing new skills

Like many students, Morgane feels that her decision to study for a PhD was based on a number of different factors, rather than being down to one reason. “On a personal level, I’ve always been eager to challenge myself, and will follow every opportunity to learn more about a variety of subjects,” she says. “After my MA, I felt like I could go further, study deeper issues and discover new environments. Professionally, I was interested in making myself more employable, developing new skills, meeting people from different parts of the world, and becoming a real expert in my subject. A PhD met all my objectives!”

Scholarship packages

With that in mind, Morgane began looking into ways to fund a PhD, and found out about LSBU’s scholarship packages. “I subscribed to a mailing list from the Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA),” she says. “Through one of the emails sent out to the group, I learned about a scholarship awarded by the Centre for Media and Cultural Research at LSBU. I applied for it, and was successful! It’s been crucial for my PhD, as I would not have been able to start my research without it.”

Sharing thoughts and experiences

While Morgane has settled into life as a PhD student and is enjoying her studies, she admits that there can be challenges at times. “I think the thing I struggled with the most was the isolation: carrying out research is a lonely process,” she says. “However, LSBU organises lots of seminars which allow PhD students to get together, which helped me to share my thoughts and experiences with others in the same situation.”

Considerable success

Morgane has since enjoyed considerable success with her studies, winning the Michal Lyons Award for a research poster she presented at the 2015 LSBU Research Summer School. She is also eagerly looking ahead to two conferences she has been accepted onto.

Attending conferences

“I’ll be attending the Affect and Social Media Symposium at the University of East London in March, and then the 24th World Congress of Political Science, held by the International Political Science Association,” she says. “The latter conference is being held in July, and there will be a conference paper published after that. I also intend to publish a peer-reviewed journal paper towards the end of my PhD.”

Skills and knowledge

Beyond her studies, Morgane hopes that the experience she gains as part of her PhD will help her find work as a researcher for a political party, MP, media outlet, research group or think tank. “I’d like to use the skills and knowledge I have acquired at LSBU to investigate current political and media issues around the world,” she says.