I chose to go to Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies at the University of Leeds initially to study for my Masters. I was able to apply for ESRC scholarship funding for both Masters and PhD, which I was awarded. The scholarship allowed me to delve deeply into a number of research areas during in my Masters training (theoretical and methodological), which afforded me the knowledge and skills to finalize my PhD proposal. I completed my PhD in Gender Studies in 2008. The thesis was called Transsexual Recognition: Embodiment, Bodily Aesthetics and the Medicolegal System. As indicated in the title of the thesis it was interdisciplinary in its approach, which I believe could not have been so, without the influences of many people who worked in the Centre and who were affiliated with the Centre from other disciplines within the university.
Since then I have been lucky to work as a research assistant at the University of Leeds on a project considering the legal implications of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 that gained royal assent in 2004 in the school of sociology and social policy. Following this, I moved to the University of Lincoln, where I currently work on a number of projects that are concerned with quality improvement projects in the NHS. The methodological skills that I acquired through my time in gender studies allow me to integrate (gender) inequality frameworks into the various research proposal and projects that I am conducting. I work as a team member in research projects that address many of my research interests. Many of these projects are collaborations with stakeholders, such as general practitioners, ambulance services and patient groups. I am called upon to provide consultancy work for stakeholders, particularly in research methodology, however, I have also provided consultancy work for a theatre production called Wig Out at the Royal Court Theatre, which was a lot of fun. I am also equipped to and do sit on job interview panels, delegate and coordinate the work of junior research assistants.
I have published my work. Publications so far include one single-authored book, one co-edited book, several articles and book chapters and research reports. I have given presentations and papers related to my research at conferences and universities in the UK, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Viet Nam, Germany and the Netherlands and hope to at least see a few more places very soon. The Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies was a fundamental step towards giving me the skills, insights, drive, and confidence alongside ongoing friendships and collegial collaborations for my career goals.