Hi! I’m Jade and I’m a final year PhD researcher in the College of Arts, based in the department of English Language and Linguistics. To be more specific, I have what is known as Thesis Pending Status – this means that I am in my ‘writing up year’ during which I bring my research together into a polished, final piece of work. Or at least that’s the plan. My thesis examines the life and surviving letters of the sixteenth-century noblewoman Lady Anne Percy, countess of Northumberland (1536 – 1591). Not many people know about Lady Anne but she was pretty fabulous, even if I do say so myself. She rode with rebel forces against Queen Elizabeth I in 1569 while pregnant, before escaping into exile in Scotland and the Low Countries. There she became a prominent campaigner against the English authorities and in favour of Mary, Queen of Scots.
But enough about Lady Anne and here’s some more about myself and what I hope to contribute to the blog. I would say that I know the University of Glasgow really well since I studied for my undergraduate degree in French here before completing a taught postgraduate MLitt in Medieval and Renaissance Studies in 2013. I now live outside the city, near Stirling, where I take advantage of outdoor pursuits that I enjoy including horse riding, walking my beloved dogs, and camping (only when the weather is nice though). I also like less strenuous activities like making my own cosmetics and cooking, both of which are quite important to me as I am a vegetarian. I also find the process of making things by hand quite relaxing and that’s something I’d like to share on the blog: how important it is for PhD researchers to keep healthy, both physically and mentally.
As someone near the end of their research hopefully I can offer some helpful and practical advice to those starting out as well as sharing ideas with those who are further into their research. I have experienced some fantastic opportunities as a PhD researcher here at the University of Glasgow, but it is true that being a researcher can be isolating and difficult at times. I hope that this blog can offer some insight into practical issues like Annual Performance Reviews (APR), relationships with supervisors, training courses, or being a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA), but more importantly the less concrete things that we all worry about but aren’t sure where to look for the answers. So that means taking holidays, staying healthy and feeling well, and sharing our research in less formally academic areas, since these are all important too.
In that case, I hope we can share our experiences and advice as we get to know one another.