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The University of Southampton
Health SciencesPostgraduate study

Emma Boger PhD, 2014

Senior Research Fellow

Emma Boger's Photo

Hi, I'm Emma Boger and I studied PhD within Health Sciences at the University of Southampton.

The highlight of my time in academia has been the publication of my work and winning awards, along with being able to bring theory back into practise to help shape a better future for patients and the NHS alike.

Previously I had practised for over 10 years as an adult nurse in a variety of roles most recently on a condition management programme.  I began an MSc health and rehabilitation at the University of Southampton as I wanted a new challenge and was lucky that my employer recognised the importance and value of continued professional development.

Following encouragement from my academic supervisors I exited my MSc at the beginning of my dissertation and transferred straight to a PhD after applying for a studentship.  My supervisors here were incredibly supportive and have been pivotal in the decision to continue my studies.

There is definitely a certain kudos attached to attaining a PhD but I have always naturally stretched myself in whatever I'm doing.

Having worked in hospital environments for a number of years I have the benefit of understanding that hospital is not necessarily the best environment for every patient.  My PhD was based around self-management and the research project I'm currently involved in continues to build on this.

Studying for a PhD can bring many opportunities. For example, in my final year of study, I jointly wrote a grant proposal with my supervisors for the two year funded project on self-management I'm currently working on.

I like the logical process and problem solving element of the researchers role and I get to employ a range of different skills from talking to patients one minute and being critiqued by academics the next.

As a mother of three, the advice I'd pass on to anyone wanting to continue professional study is to work hard from the very beginning and write something every day.  A PhD is a mammoth task and you just don't know what pitfalls may lay ahead, so it's important to keep a good pace up. By dedicating the hours to study and being honest with yourself you can do it.  I managed to complete within three years which is something I'm very proud of.

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