Paulina Szymczynska started pursuing research during her MA in Psychology and Management studies at the University of Glasgow when she had the opportunity to work as a research assistant at Mannheim Universität in Germany. She gained further experience in health and social care services, dementia and policy research before deciding to pursue a PhD in Social and Community Psychiatry.
Paulina is supervised by Professor Stefan Priebe at the Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, and Dr Stephen Taylor at the School of Geography. The project presents an interesting combination of social psychiatry and human geography perspectives.
“I have always enjoyed working in interdisciplinary teams. It can be a very rewarding challenge to go outside the scope of a single discipline and bring together different ideas, theories and methodologies to answer a research question,” says Paulina.
“The question that the project aims to answer is: what factors affect participation in clinical trials involving people with mental health problems?
I am interested in pragmatic, evidence-based solutions to problems in research and practice. What attracted me to studying participation in medical research is the potential for my study findings to have impact on how clinical trials are run. Working alongside my colleagues allows me to gain a better understanding of what is involved in running a trial. There is also an element of public engagement in my project, which is an important part of the Life Sciences Initiative. My project will help us understand how patients with mental health problems perceive their participation in research and use this knowledge to think about how they can be involved in an ethical and inclusive way.”