I am looking to raise some money to help me out with costs related to carrying out my PhD.
Last November I graduated from the University of Aberdeen with an MSc with Distinction in Sociology and from this was awarded a scholarship to have my fees paid for each year of PhD study. Whilst I was beyond thrilled to be awarded the Elphinstone Scholarship it only covers fees and I still need to work part-time (as a PhD student I can only work up to 20 hours a week) in order to cover all my living costs (rent, food, bills, travel etc.). I am looking for donations to go towards paying to become a member of the British Sociological Association, to put towards attending conferences and training events to enhance and further my academic development and career, and for other materials such as books and printing costs.
I am carrying out my PhD research on veganism. As a budding sociologist, I am looking to carry out in-depth research into the experiences of vegans; how they negotiate a non-vegan world, their decision-making techniques, what their motivations are, their ideology, and their experiences with others who do not subscribe to a vegan lifestyle.
In the last 10 years the number of vegans in the UK has risen 360% from 150,000 in 2006 to 542,000 in 2016 "making it the fastest growing lifestyle movement" (The Vegan Society 2016) in the UK. As a vegan myself, I want to explore this movement sociologically and carry out qualitative research with vegans to gain a better understanding of their personal views, motivations, experiences, and difficulties. At the moment there is little sociological research (in Britain) on this specific topic or movement and I wish to add my contribution to the growing literature and discipline of Vegan Studies (Wright 2015). I feel this will help build up more knowledge on the subject from an academic and sociological point of view, but will also create more awareness and exposure of veganism, and the myriad benefits it can offer, to the public. I also believe that the more research on veganism that is carried out, the more evidence and chance there is to impact public policy on health and the environment, and animal rights and welfare.
A little bit about me
- Born and raised in working class area of Aberdeen and attended local schools, the first in my family to attend university.
- Went to Aberdeen College (now North East Scotland College) in 2006 and gained a HND in Communication with Media.
- Went into third year of the Media Studies course at Robert Gordon University graduating in 2010 with a 2:1 BA (Hons) and receiving the Robert Gordon University's Aberdeen Business School 4th Year Media Studies Prize for the top year four media student with the stongest overall profile of marks.
- Worked in retail for six years (during and after my studies) as a customer service assistant and was then promoted to customer service supervisor.
- Currently working for the Scottish regulatory body for social care and social work. I was full-time until starting my PhD and now work there on a part-time basis.
- After my father passed away at the end of 2013 I decided it was time to go back to studying and do my masters, something my dad had been always telling me to do. I carried out an MSc in Sociology part-time whilst still working a full-time job. Despite being incredibly difficult at times, trying to juggle work, studies and life in general, I graduated with Distinction in November 2016.
- In early 2017 I received the Elphinstone Scholarship, which meant I would have my fees paid by the University of Aberdeen, to carry out a PhD, something I never thought would be in my grasp because of financial contraints.
- In general, I love animals, reading, cooking, knitting, music, and Zumba and I am actively interested in intersectional feminism, animal rights and veganism. When I'm not at university or work, I like to hang out with my cat and take photos of him!
I hope you can offer even a small contribution to help me with my PhD studies, and that one day it may help towards a better, healthier, more equal society.
The Vegan Society (2016) ‘Find out how many vegans are in Great Britain’, 17 May 2016. [Online] Available at: https://www.vegansociety.com/whats-new/news/find-out-how-many-vegans-are-great-britain.
Wright, L. (2015) The Vegan Studies Project: Food, Animals, and Gender in the Age of Terror. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.