Holly Walton

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I completed my Psychology undergraduate degree at Nottingham Trent University in 2014 and was fortunate enough to be offered a 1+3 ESRC studentship from the University College London ESRC Doctoral Training Centre. During my +1 year I undertook a Master’s in Health Psychology. I then started my PhD in October 2015 in the Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology. My PhD focused on ‘Evaluating the implementation of social interventions to improve independence in Dementia’ and was linked to a larger ESRC funded program: Promoting Independence in Dementia (PRIDE).

As well as doing my PhD, I was also involved in some non-PhD related activities. I personally found these experiences extremely valuable. For example, I was an ESRC student representative at UCL and was also Chair of the Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group (PsyPAG). These additional responsibilities helped me to develop additional skills (such as organising writing days!), but also helped me to develop a crucial support network and manage my time.

These opportunities also helped me to develop relevant academic skills. For example: through being part of PsyPAG I also had an opportunity to edit, and write for the second edition of the: ‘A Guide for Psychology Postgraduates: Surviving postgraduate study’. Both editions contain a wealth of information to help navigate postgraduate study and are freely available to download online from:

http://www.psypag.co.uk/psypag-guide/.

I really enjoyed being an ESRC funded doctoral student at UCL and found the Doctoral training centre team to be extremely supportive and encouraging throughout my PhD. I submitted my PhD in July 2018, passed my Viva with minor corrections in October 2018 and had my corrections accepted in December 2018.

Prior to submitting my thesis I applied for, and was offered a post-doctoral research position on the Coordinated Care of Rare Diseases (CONCORD) project in the Department of Applied Health Research at University College London. I am currently really enjoying working on this project and looking forward to seeing what the next few years bring in terms of developing my academic career further!