The UWS-Oxfam Partnership has engaged students from UWS and beyond in its activities. They have supported the Partnership’s projects with valuable input, benefited from the Partnership’s policy-relevant orientation and strong links into civil society organisations, and have been inspired by its diverse activities for their own research projects. Below are some testimonials.
Maggie Smith, UWS MSc student
Maggie contributed to the data generation process for the ‘Decent Work’ project whilst studying for her MSc Applied Social Sciences at UWS in 2015/16: ‘I thoroughly enjoyed working as part of the Partnership’s research team and getting a feel for putting research into a format that could be used to influence policy. I would recommend other students make the most of these opportunities if available as I found it inspired me to think of different career options, including the possibility of doctoral study’.
Katharine Timpson, UWS PhD student
Katharine contributed to the Partnership’s research on ‘decent work’ in 2015/16. This helped her develop as a researcher: ‘I very much enjoyed contributing to the Decent Work study, it was an engaging and important piece of research. My work on this project complemented the skills I’ve gained during my PhD so far. My PhD is quite focused around one type of data and their analysis, but within this project I learnt more about a variety of methods of data collection and analysis. The PhD experience can also be quite solitary, so it was good to work within a larger research team and to develop skills through that, for example sharing responsibilities and seeing how decisions are made in a larger research project with different kinds of organisations involved.’
John Beattie, UWS PhD student
On Sunny Govan Radio, a local community radio station, John delivered The Social Awareness Programme. Here, John explored the issues of health and mortality in Scotland and in Glasgow – a topic which he also discussed in his BA Honours Social Sciences dissertation at UWS – and also the consequences of inequality. He drew inspiration from the Policy Forum event on inequality in 2013 at the Lighthouse in Glasgow.
Lisa Garnham, UWS PhD student
Lisa, during her PhD research, worked for the Clydebank Independent Resource Centre and for Oxfam Scotland. She sums up these experiences as follows: ‘I learned a lot during the time I worked with the Clydebank Independent Resource Centre, probably as much as I learned throughout the process of my PhD. I started out doing a small piece of research based at the Centre on behalf of Oxfam, using their historical case files to assess the impact of changes in the benefit system on people’s lives. This work, parallel but not strictly related to my PhD research, gave me important context for what was to come. It also helped me build up a relationship with staff at the Centre, so that when I asked if I could volunteer there one day a week to help with my ethnographic ‘data collection’, they agreed. This experience has been vital to my success in progressing my PhD and obtaining employment. It was great that my supervisor and the University had the kind of relationship with Oxfam and the Clydebank Independent Resource Centre that made all of this possible for me.’
Garry Meighan, UWS student
Garry, a second year computing student, worked in Glasgow on a Work Related Learning placement where he was supervised by Tom Caira of UWS and David Eyre of Oxfam Scotland. Here is how Garry summed up his experience: ‘I gained vast experience during this placement as I was actually able to witness exactly what a working business environment was like. I would strongly recommend doing a placement to other students as by doing placements you gain really important skills for your desired future job’.