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Doctoral College

Zi Parker on 101 jobs that change the world | UKRI Stories

Watch our Head of Doctoral College, Zi Parker, sharing her amazing story on making postgraduate research less lonely. Full video on the link shared below. 

Zi Parker for UKRI

It’s challenging in postgraduate research and Zi Parker knows this – she’s been there. Feeling lonely and far from home during her PhD, she struggled with her mental health and withdrew six months before she was due to complete it.

As the Head of Doctoral College at Queen Mary University of London, she’s now the person that she needed someone to be for her then and she works hard to make sure that postgraduate researchers know they’re not alone, that they feel part of a community. The three things she’d always tell a new postgraduate researcher is: “You are capable, you have talent and you belong.” Bringing inclusivity to research is a big part of her work.

With her team at Queen Mary, she introduced the STRIDE programme which supports students who are marginalised by race to see what a research career might look like so they can decide if it’s for them.

At the end of the day, there’s no single path to a career in research. “I started doing a PhD and found it wasn’t for me. And now I’m back in a university working with researchers, supporting the research community”.

Feeling overwhelmed with your research journey? Watch full video here:

This is part of the 101 Jobs campaign by UK Research and Innovation, highlighting the people and roles that contribute to the success of the research and innovation system. Copy drafted by Shimei Zhou, Digital/Social Media Manager at UKRI. 



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