Vincent Obia

Media PhD

After completing his Bachelors and Masters in Lagos - Nigeria, Vincent took the plunge and made the move to Birmingham to study a PhD in Media. Vincent transitioned to his next level of study with ease as he was always pro-active and had fantastic support from his tutors. 

"I was always passionate about getting a PhD as part of my career objectives and to also extend the frontiers of research in my field of new media regulation. I decided to do a PhD back in 2017 when I was doing my master's. It had always being in my plans, given that I am on a research track.

In my experience being a PG student at BCU, I have found it interesting as I gained accessed to valuable mentorship and resources for research and development. I believe there is a community of staff and students here, which I have become a part of. Within ADM, I am part of the PGR Studio, which is a supportive community of PhD students. I also served as PGR rep at some point. In the wider School of Media, I was part of the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, where I became embedded in the research community.

The biggest challenge that I faced changing my PhD research from broadcasting regulation to social media regulation early on in my research. I overcame the challenge by coordinating with my supervisors and my funders to demonstrate why the change was needed. I didn't have much difficulty adapting from UG to PG, as I had had an active research life before; I did however have to learn the high-level skills required for PhD research.

The university has been supportive and has funded some of my conferences and research trips. I have also had valuable mentorship from my supervisors. And the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research helped me with peer review for an article that I later published in a top journal. I also served as Co-Editor of the Makings Journal in the Creative Industries research cluster of BCMCR. All these provided support for me.

In addition to the opportunities above, I had the opportunity to serve as a PhD tutor for the Brilliant Club. I have also taken part in funded research projects at the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity. I was also research assistant for a funded project on media literacy hosted at LSE. I also served as Lead Communication Officer for the Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association in the UK. All these provided opportunities and support for me.

Over the time I have spent at BCU, I am most proud of the two awards that I won: Top Student Paper at the International Communication Association 2022 Conference (Communication Law and Policy Division), and Best Student Paper at the Association of Internet Researchers 2022 Conference.

I simply had a plan for my research and I stuck to it. There was not much separation between work/life/study. I allocated specific tasks to specific times depending on the deadlines that I had, although Saturdays were for always for rest!

In the future, I hope to continue with my research career and to make an unforgettable mark in my field of study: new media regulation. I would advise anyone wanting to undertake a PhD to be ready for changes that will come with your research and be willing to go with flow trusting that all will go well in the end.

To me, I AM BCU means being a part of a culture of excellence; not only in Birmingham, but globally."