Introduction to the PGF committee: Kevin Graham, Newsletter Editor

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I live locally with my partner and have worked as a teacher for the past eleven years. We have three cats, and we like to visit historic sites. As a hobby, I am heavily involved in local amateur dramatic societies and I also enjoy reading fiction.

Tell us a little bit about your research

My research focuses on the development of the British political centre ground since 1918. I am particularly interested in the role and response of centrism in the UK in response to specific historic events.

What was it that got you interested in your current research topic?

I have always been interested in the role and contribution of the political centre ground. Towards the end of my masters I became interested in how this role became increasingly important at time when political polarisation to the left and right was taking place. This then led me to consider how the role of centrism has developed throughout history.

What has been the best/most enjoyable part of your PhD so far?

At this stage in my research, I have enjoyed the wide reading and exploration of the topic. This has enabled me to think of a variety of different aspects to my research which I had not even considered at the very start.

And what has been the most challenging?

Perhaps identifying the best time period to start from in my overall analysis. I have attempted to address this by continuously reading and asking myself a number of questions which relate to specific circumstances throughout history when the centre ground has achieved prominence.

Has Coronavirus impacted your research?

I have found alternative ways to obtain information from relevant and useful sources, such as through the National Archives and other online gateways. I have also been able to network virtually, which has proven very useful.

What would be your most important advice for someone just starting their PhD?

It sounds cliché, but genuinely enjoy the exploration of your topic. I have certainly found the reading and discovery of different aspects of my research fascinating and enjoyable.

What are your post-PhD plans?

My hopes are two-fold; Firstly, to develop enhanced research skills that will enable me to pursue exploring the area which is in continuous development and secondly, to use the expertise in the field to further my teaching practice and research output.

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