Every month we get to know another member of our researcher community.
In this edition, we speak to doctoral researcher Liam Miles about his project exploring youth engagement in community activism, and his work as a PGR student rep.
What is your PhD about?
My PhD explores the processes of young people who choose to engage in activism in their local communities by using a youth-led participatory action approach.
It will set up an opportunity for young people aged between 16-18 to engage in community activism in one area of Birmingham and will then examine the social processes around youth engagement i.e. What do they consider activism? And what are their views on the process of being involved in activism?
The aim of this research is to undertake a youth-led participatory action research project, in which they themselves are taking part in the activism projects that have been determined and steered by young people.
What drew you to the project?
I was drawn to this project because I have previously held both interest and experience in working with young people, particularly through understanding how positive mental health and security can be enabled.
I want to be able to help support youth in my community through identifying social issues and responding to such issues positively through various modes of activism.
I am particularly excited for the data collection stage of the project which will see me working with young people in their social and learning environments. However, I am thoroughly enjoying the current stage of writing the literature review, exploring existing bodies of literature, and identifying a breadth of methods to apply later on.
What is one tip you would give to other researchers?
One tip I would give to other doctoral researchers would be to get organized and plan ahead, particularly for the data collection and analysis stage. Also, try and join academic networks such as academic conference committees, as it may lead to networking and collaboration opportunities.
What does a PGR student rep do?
As a PGR student rep for Social Sciences, I work alongside colleagues across Social Sciences, Law and Business, and the Doctoral Research College. This largely involves collating student feedback, representing student interests at committee meetings, co-organising research workshop events, and being a point of contact for postgraduate students across the Social Sciences department.
What do you do when you’re not researching?
When I am not wearing my researcher hat, I enjoy keeping fit through running, socialising with friends, family and, of course, reading. I like to read outside my research area to keep up to date with other fields.
Want to share your story? If you're a Doctoral Researcher at BCU and want to share more about your project, contact the team to be featured in our PhD profile of the month segment.