July in Brighton sees Summer Graduation for University of Sussex students and since IDS teaches several University courses, I was there to read out the IDS graduates’ names and to congratulate them on their achievements.
As usual, the Chancellor Sanjeev Bhaskar made some astute, wry and humorous comments. His key point: find something you love and learn from and then stick with it, and if you are not in that situation, don’t be afraid to change. Above all, never give up.
We had some great shouts from the audience, including “that’s my baby”, “that’s my sister”, and “halleluah”. We had babies on stage, a faked heart attack and some very good dance moves. The Chancellor maintained his dignity throughout.
We also had a very nice speech from Prannoy Roy, receiving an Honorary Degree for his work in the media in India (he is the founder of NDTV). He also stressed the theme of never give up: he went through 7 professions before finding the one he loved.
The Winter Graduation is usually the more boisterous ceremony when all of our Master’s students arrive to receive their certificates, but the Summer one, dominated by the PhD graduates has a quiet joyfulness of a long road completed successfully.
And what a road. Completing a PhD is one of the most stressful things one can do—I certainly found it so. It can be quite a solitary endeavour, there is nowhere to hide and doing a sustained piece of work over 4 years is something that is even harder in our multi-media, multi-distraction, multi-opportunity world.
That is why we try hard to place our PhDs within a supportive and collaborative environment. PhDs at IDS are part of research teams and clusters, they are Members of IDS and they are vital to our thriving intellectual community. We are striving to do even better at embedding our PhDs in multi-year research programmes and creating events and publication opportunities for them to showcase their work.
They are a brilliant group of professionals and (dare I say it) conducting some of the most interesting research around.
We wish them well and we will hold them close.
If you want to find out more about applying for a PhD look here.
If you want to know what to expect as an IDS PhD, look here.
Why should you do a PhD at IDS? To contribute to the tradition of research that is people centric, embraces the political, takes on orthodox views and is at the intersection of academia, policy and practice. You will be like a kid in a candy store.
Come and join us.