Chris Norval, PhD
"Whilst doing my PhD, senior academics made me feel like one of their colleagues rather than just another research student. Members of staff here treat students as equals, which really sets this university apart from many others." - Chris Norval, PhD
“I studied a BSc in Applied Computing at the University of Dundee before going on to do my PhD. I really enjoyed my undergraduate experience and I was impressed by how modern and new the facilities were.
“After I completed my BSc I looked at a few different options, but as soon as the funding for this PhD became available, I jumped at the chance of applying. Dundee had started to feel like a second home to me and I knew that this would be a great opportunity.
“My PhD project was about how social networking sites (SNSs) can be designed to optimise the experience of users over the age of 65. This research was part of a larger collaboration known as Social Inclusion through the Digital Economy (SiDE), between the University of Newcastle and the University of Dundee.
“Whilst doing my PhD, senior academics made me feel like one of their colleagues rather than just another research student. Members of staff here treat students as equals, which really sets this university apart from many others.
“This year I attended the CHI (computer-human interaction) 2014 conference in Toronto, which is the best conference in this field. It was great to be involved in such a key event during the last phase of my PhD.
“If I could give early stage researchers one piece of advice it would be don’t let the bad days deter you. It’s very common for PhD students to have moments when they doubt themselves, but sometimes you just have to take one day at a time and work through the challenging periods.
“I’m now looking for a job that will allow me to keep carrying out research. I enjoy many aspects of academia but I’m ready to apply what I’ve learnt in an industry related role.”