Katie Neary

Katie Neary

After graduating from the University of Liverpool, Katie worked in Higher Education for 5 years. Katie's thesis is entitled 'The role of innovation hubs in supporting collaborative innovation: a case study of user-led healthcare innovation.'

What were your main reasons for choosing to undertake postgraduate research at the University of Liverpool?

After graduation, I worked in a number of roles within Higher Education for just over five years. I began to consider my longer term career options, and reflect on the skills I was using in my job, I realised that I missed being involved in academic work, and the ways in which you can use a combination of your academic skills and personal qualities to produce meaningful and interesting research. I decided that by undertaking a postgraduate research degree I would be able to work in many different professions, by developing a unique set of skills and an academic specialism. The independence this gives you as an individual is something that appealed to me, alongside the opportunity to be involved in discovering and understanding current and future issues and our understanding of them as a society.

What support have you recieved from the Liverpool Doctoral College?

I have attended workshops as part of Postgradate Reseacher Week and also have attended training for specific practical skills like how to deliver small group teaching, assess coursework and exams, design well-structured research questions, use the qualitative data analysis Nvivo software and create an impactful research poster.

How do you believe postgraduate research will help your career prospects?

I believe that my postgraduate degree will help my career prospects as it has enabled me to become proficient in a highly topical and important area of innovation. Health innovation is important academically, commercially, socially, politically and economically. The diverse nature of academic studies within the literature and also the people I am in contact with has shown me that I have a number of potential career paths within academia, but also in the public and private sectors. Health is increasingly an area of global interest from multiple perspectives, and something which can be studied through distinct and thematic methods. The connectivity of learning gained from the health research studies is something that has really captured my interest and enthusiasm for understanding how to make the world a better place for people in their time of need.

What advice would you give to anyone considering undertaking a PhD?

In my experience, doing a PhD can be really rewarding and enables you to spend time developing your skills and interests. The perspective I gained from my prior study and years working in High Education certainly helped me to be in a position where I could make the most of this time. I have enjoyed the freedom you have as a PGR student to think, read and discover, but this is within a structured programme with goals and frequent reviews. To be successful I think you should be a self-motivated person who is a good multi-tasker. You work independently much of the time, within fairly tight timescales and you are required to demonstrate your progress to ensure you meet the demands of PhD study. If you feel that you can work in this way then the possibilities of what can be achieved from your study are unlimited, and hugely shaped by your work ethic, involvement in arising opportunities and receptiveness to learn from others. It is not an easy path, but if you are at a place in your life where you want time to think and reflect to enable you to create academically rigorous new knowledge, then PhD study can be a wonderful privilege.