PowerLab PhD candidates research proposal success.

Three of PowerLab’s PhD candidates undertook their Research Proposals on 8th July, 2020. Edi Putra, Eme John and Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz (L-R) took part in the procedures and achieved outstanding success all round.

Some reflections...

Eme John

The requirement that my research on greenspace and healthy ageing should be "innovative" was challenging and left me wondering if I could ever find the knowledge gap and proffer any insight or feasible answers to the yearning questions. As the months passed by, I was amazed by the depth and range of ideas that spawned from my discussions with my supervisors. The task of preparing the research proposal was not an easy one but the supervisory team was always on hand to help me streamline my proposal into one innovative and coherent piece. A couple of mock online presentations I made to my supervisors helped to prepare me for the main event. My mates in the PowerLab were also very supportive and shared the events of their successful presentations to encourage me. I must say that I found the actual presentation quite relaxing, given my preparation and presenting on camera from the familiar surroundings of the PowerLab.

I was delighted when I passed and celebrated with a nice Thai dinner with only my flatmate (apologies, COVID-19). As the evening wore on, the mood became more bittersweet as it dawned on me that the reward for my successful research proposal presentation was to immediately commence the task of answering the research questions I proposed.

Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz

I successfully passed my research proposal recently. While it’s only a footnote in the general weirdness of 2020, it was nonetheless a little eerie to give such an important presentation not to a room full of people, but to a computer screen while my cats watched, bemused. It wasn’t all bad – after a bit of a kerfuffle trying to get me back into the Zoom teleconference that had decided my fate (I had turned my phone to silent, of course, which seemed like a good idea at the time) I was cheerfully congratulated by the assembled panel. Even from a distance, it was a great experience, and the close proximity to my kitchen gave me excellent access to celebratory wine and chocolate.

All in all, I’m very glad I passed and looking forward to another 4 years of part-time PhD in the future. Thanks in large part to my brilliant supervisors, I managed to get through this hurdle and on to the work remaining. And thanks again to Selin for helping to keep me sane during what I will undoubtedly remember as one of the more stressful presentations of my life!

Edi Putra

In the first 6 months, I focused on drafting my research proposal along with writing a systematic review about green space and child prosocial behaviour. The systematic review helped me to get a good understanding of the current evidence and identify knowledge gaps which in turn enabled me to frame my research questions. I also started analysing data for my first main study. Even though I was a little nervous to present my research proposal, I was also excited at the same time because I would not only present my research plans but also share my systematic review that was published prior to the proposal review and the preliminary findings from the data analysis. I am very grateful for the support and guidance provided by Thomas and other co-supervisors. I also thank all the friends in the PowerLab for their motivation and support.

To celebrate the milestones that I have achieved so far, I made a small party with housemates and we ate Indonesian food.