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About the Blog

This blog is to help and inspire others who may be considering a life change like mine – to develop myself as an ‘academic practitioner’.

Why am I doing this doctorate, what is it like, how is it connecting with my professional life, and where is it taking me?  These and other questions exercise me all the time and reflecting on them is all part of the journey.

The blog isn’t meant to be a ‘how to’ guide for doctoral students. So it’s not about, for example, the mechanics of literature reviews – there’s plenty of material out there on that already.  But where relevant I will include my own tips for overcoming writer’s block, procrastination, reading and data overload, and all the other challenges which can affect the doctoral student.

About Me

I am a town planner by profession and have been employed in local government for most of my career, managing strategic land use plans, city-focussed economic strategy, performance, and research.  I’ve also worked in related fields: sustainability, equalities, responsible business/CSR, as well as corporate programmes such as governance and transformational change.  I enjoy being a catalyst, collaborating, and managing teams.  Some of my most fulfilling work has been in mentoring and developing new recruits.

I am curious about the world and why things came to be, and how socially progressive change can be brought about.  My desire to learn, understand and improve practice, has led to my current doctoral study which I combine with independent consultancy. I also get involved in many professional events and voluntary activities. See my LinkedIN profile and consultancy website for more information.

I was born and brought up in Glasgow and still have ties there but have now been resident in Edinburgh for many years. Together with my husband, we love the arts, especially music, so the Edinburgh Festival is an annual highlight.  Following years of camping under canvas, we  invested in a camper van, which has added home comforts to our Scottish mountain trips.  When not doing a degree of some sort, I enjoy evening classes where I can indulge my interest in philosophy and politics.