Valerie Egdell

Valerie Egdell is a Senior Research Fellow at the Employment Research Institute. Valerie shares some of her experience since she started working here in 2010. 


What's your background as a researcher?

I have a degree in Geography from Durham University; and an MA in Human Geography Research and a PhD from Newcastle University. My PhD examined how carers of people with dementia mobilise their support networks and draw social, cultural and emotional resources to manage the demands of informal care.

What is your research area?

My research interests are in youth and older worker transitions; the role of the third sector in public service delivery; and welfare reform. I have worked on a number of projects for different funders such as the European Commission, the Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

What attracted you to a fellowship at Edinburgh Napier?

I started working at the Employment Research Institute in 2010 as a Research Assistant, having completed my PhD at Newcastle University. In 2013 I applied for a Research Fellow position at the Employment Research Institute, and I was promoted to Senior Research Fellow in 2014.

I applied for the Research Assistant post as I wanted to develop my research skills post PhD. The position advertised at the Employment Research Institute offered the opportunity to work on a range of projects and develop a broad skills base.

What has your experience been like to date?

The Employment Research Institute has provided me with the opportunity to work on a range of projects and develop a broad base of research, leadership and administrative skills. I have collaborated on research projects with academics from across the UK and Europe. I have also traveled internationally and attended a range of key conferences in my area. 

What's it like being based in Edinburgh? 

Edinburgh is a great city to live and work in. It is easy to get around with good transport links to the rest of UK and Europe. There are always lots of cultural activities, especially around festival time in August. There is stunning countryside close by – I especially enjoy trips down to the Borders and Northumberland.

What advice would you have for other research fellows?

  • Make the most of the opportunities to develop your research, teaching, leadership and administrative skills. 
  • Take up opportunities to collaborate with colleagues from across the University and beyond.
  • Ask your more experienced colleagues for feedback on papers.
  • Take part in a wide range of activities and events to disseminate your research.