As an undergraduate, I studied Politics and International Development at the University of Sussex. My dissertations for both subjects strayed into sociology, and I found myself engaging with disability theory. My politics dissertation asked whether the Deaf community can be considered an ethnic group, and the dissertation for international development asked why people with intersex experience human rights abuses when they should be protected by international conventions. This research led to an interest in disability studies theory, and after a two year break I embarked on an MSc in Disability Studies at the University of Bristol.
At Bristol, nested in the School for Policy Studies, I learnt the importance (to me) of carrying out research that can have an impact on policy. As a result, my focus changed from being purely theory-based to highly practical, and my MSc dissertation reflected this. I examined the use of spending diaries for measuring the extra costs of having a learning difficulty, marking a move away from disability theory and towards policy research. I graduated with a distinction, giving me the confidence to embark on a PhD in policy studies.
I began the PhD in 2016, part-time and self-funded, alongside working in frontline services for a Disabled People's Organisation in London. Last year I was fortunate to be awarded ESRC funding for my last two years of study, for which I have transferred to full time study. My supervisors are Dr Nicola Carr and Dr Andrew Henley.
My research focus is on interventions to engage potential offenders in preventing child sexual abuse, with an eye on the policy context for this emerging field in the UK.
Apart from the core research skills which are essential for the PhD, I have attended Cochrane systematic review training and have been conducting an integrative (mixed-methods) review over the past year.