This week we begin a series which introduces important role-holders in the School of Psychology and Counselling. This week we meet the School’s PhD convener, Dr David Kaposi.
My job as PhD convener has three components. First, I provide knowledge and support to the School’s current PhD students and their supervisors concerning university guidelines and paperwork. Second, I try to organize workshops and other events for the students, partly to spur them on with their projects and partly to enable them to meet their peers because studying for a PhD can be a lonely process. Third, I am usually the first point of contact for people who wish to do a PhD with us in the future.
Of these, I do like to engage with the new project proposals from prospective research students who would like to join the School to study for a PhD. But it is the second aspect of the role which is the most exciting. The last event we had was a one dayconference where we listened to and discussed PhD presentations on the process of research. Everyone present evaluated the day as somewhere on a scale that starts with “very interesting” and extends to “exhilarating”. Indeed, it is quite unique to be able to see projects which are yet not polished and packaged for final “consumption” but still alive and in-the-making. (The next event planned is for a workshop/seminar on various aspects of data and data analysis – watch this space!).
I was originally trained in social psychology, which is the area where I acquired my PhD. Already during this time, however, I realised that my fascination lay with aspects of meaning that are difficult to express, communicate or in fact even acknowledge. Accordingly, I did a Postgraduate Diploma training in psychodynamic psychotherapy, and am now a registered psychotherapist with a private practice. In my research (currently around the Milgram experiments), I try to hold these two aspects of meaning, the public-social and the private-intimate, in balance.