Programme of Study: BA History (International)
Title of UGRS project: Why do Christians get involved with social action?
Why did you apply?
I applied because I realised that I would very much enjoy research into this topic. I hadn’t really studied theology before but I saw that my degree would benefit much from this broadening. I really liked the idea of being able to interview people about their involvement in social action and begin my research from this point. I knew also that I would really enjoy having one to one supervision with an academic as I hadn’t really had this before.
What were your expectations before starting, and did they prove to be right or wrong?
I remember being quite apprehensive as I was doing a project about homelessness, which involved volunteering at St George’s Crypt, which is something I hadn’t really done before.
How have you benefitted so far from the scheme?
I learnt a lot from the residential especially about presenting skills and networking which we had to do a lot throughout the scheme. The networking events we took part in also improved my confidence a lot.
What has been your best memory of the scheme?
I really enjoyed doing the interviews, which all turned out to be very different from one another.
What is the biggest thing you’ve achieved on the scheme?
I think it was probably getting the project done in a way that was most accessible as possible to those who are not part of the academic world. It also very exciting that the article Rachel Muers (the academic I worked with) and my research contributed to will at some point be published in the International Journal of Public Theology.
How has UGRS supplemented your degree studies?
It really enriched them, proving to be the most interesting and rewarding thing I have done so far.
What have you learned about the nature of research/ researchers since UGRS?
The research I did was very front line, quite different from a lot of what I previously done that tended to be library based. It was mainly about interviewing people and volunteering at the Crypt and reflecting about what this experience was like.
If not stated above, what explicit “employability” skills have you gained/anticipate gaining from the scheme?
I learnt a lot about teamwork and project management.
What advice would you give to someone considering applying for UGRS/ about to start a research project?
I would really urge them to apply for it, I couldn’t recommend it enough. The best advice about starting the project is to start it slowly and steadily settle into it.
Have you faced any challenges and how have you overcome these?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Working for the Church of England or in Christian social action.
What are your hobbies?
Reading, watching films and running.
Please write a short report for the website of what you have done this summer
I wrote three articles for Network Leeds, which draw from the interviews and my experiences of volunteering in Leeds:
Here is a link to the full report: Christian and non-Christian Reasoning about Social Action