After doing a Master’s degree at Edinburgh Napier in Applied Criminology and Forensic Psychology, I felt a PhD was the natural next step. I had really enjoyed conducting my own research project during my undergraduate and Master’s degrees, and a PhD would allow me to enhance my knowledge, dive into key areas and challenges on my choice of topic, and make meaningful contributions to the field.

I chose to stay on at Napier solely because of my supervisors, Dr Kathy Charles and Dr Rory MacLean, who I had come to know during my undergraduate and Master’s. It was a testing time; my PhD was self-funded, so I also had to work at the same time, juggling study with three different jobs. That was hard in ways I had never expected and required a resilience I wouldn’t have believed I was capable of!

I am eternally grateful that my supervisors guided me through this journey with such compassion and dedication.

Unwavering support

But my relationship with my supervisors was exceptional. They made a very challenging journey less difficult, with their unwavering emotional support and excellent academic guidance. They prioritised me whenever I needed their support, and I always felt appreciated and valued by them. They also supervised me with aspects other than my PhD, such as my teaching practice, conference presentations, applications to gain qualifications, and job interviews.

My PhD explored how men and women differ in how they present their narcissism and how this plays out in, for example, domestic abuse. I’m proud that my work has contributed to knowledge about the nature of narcissism in intimate relationships, particularly in female offenders.

Despite the huge amount of work I was doing alongside my PhD, I published papers, gained teaching qualifications, and presented my work at national and international conferences. Most importantly, I submitted my thesis within the three-year timeline, and passed my viva with minor corrections... I’m eternally grateful that my supervisors guided me through this journey with such compassion and dedication.

Positive experience

It wasn’t only my direct supervisors who played an important role during that time. For instance, as a non-native speaker (I’m from Sweden and had moved to the UK just six years earlier), I received help with my academic writing in workshops and 1:1 sessions with Dr Nick Pilcher. He was phenomenal throughout my time at Napier, and a major factor in the positive experience I had. Similarly, the then Head of Research for the School, Professor Peter Barlow, helped me to deal with delayed ethics applications, conference expenses, and publication fees. All of this was instrumental to my progress.

A few days after submitting my PhD in January 2020 I was offered a Lectureship in Forensic Psychology at City University of London, where I took on the role as the Module Leader of Undergraduate Forensic Psychology and the Programme Director for the BSc Criminology and Psychology degree. These achievements would not have been possible without my supervisors and I credit all my past and future successes to them.