Meet our graduates

We asked some of our graduates to share their experiences of studying for a PhD in psychology at the University of Sheffield, and to tell us what they did next.

Raul BerriosRaúl Berrios Espinoza

Researcher, 
University of Santiago, Chile

"Completing my PhD in the Department of Psychology in the University of Sheffield was a tremendous experience. When I look back, I realise that this decision had a substantial impact on my career. But studying at Sheffield did also contribute to my personal growth.

"In terms of my academic development, I received state of the art training and close, expert supervision. The resources and support available enable you to conduct high standard research, gaining progressive confidence in your professional and academic skills. The department has also a great atmosphere that stimulates you to work and share with other people in a friendly and reassuring manner.

"Personally, I believe that the mix between a strong research programme, a stimulating and vibrant University environment, and a human-scale city, amicable to students, helps you to mature. I’m sure that all things I learnt and received from my peers, supervisors, and departmental staff helped me find a job after completing my research project."

Smadar Cohen ChenSmadar Cohen-Chen

Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor, Northwestern University, USA

"Studying in the Department of Psychology in the University of Sheffield was an extremely positive experience for me. My thesis focused on cognitive interventions to induce hope and ameliorate intractable intergroup conflict.

"There are many reasons why I highly recommend doing a PhD here. First, the department has an excellent framework of student support for the PhD students, including resources for conferences and conducting studies, fantastic supervision, and professional advancement. I really felt as a student I was given all the tools needed to write my thesis in the best possible way. Second, the department actively promotes activities and skills that are critical for career advancement in academia, such as networking, conference talks, publications, and grant writing. I found this to be very helpful and effective in finding a job after completing my thesis. Lastly, the welcoming, friendly and supportive department atmosphere, including the other PhD students, faculty members, and excellent staff, made it a place in which I liked spending time and being productive.

"Today I am a postdoctoral fellow and visiting assistant professor in the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. I believe completing my PhD in the Department of Psychology in Sheffield equipped me for this position fabulously and helped make the transition relatively easily and smoothly."

Patrycja PiotrowskaPatrycja J. Piotrowska

Postdoctoral Research Associate, The University of Sydney, Australia

"I came to Sheffield to study for a PhD in Psychology following the completion of an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Criminology. A PhD in Psychology is a wonderful choice for anyone who wants to receive training in a wide range of psychology-related topics and academic skills. It provides a great opportunity to master your professional and academic skills while developing new ones.

"Staff at Sheffield are from diverse academic and personal backgrounds with incredible passion for their work which really helps broadening your horizons. I very much enjoyed being a part of such a great environment which made this challenging journey an inspiring one. The Department is very much committed to personal and professional development, and the academic environment emphasises the importance of the multiple skill sets and high-quality research. Also, Sheffield turned out to be a fantastic place to live and study where I have made life-long friendships. Going back to Sheffield and visiting the department always brings smile on my face.

"The decision to complete my PhD at the University of Sheffield was one of the best decisions in my academic career, and if you try to make the most of the diverse environment and professional development opportunities, it will give you an all-important competitive advantage when planning your post-PhD career."

Since completing her PhD, Patrycja has worked for a large mental health charity (UK) as a researcher and evidence analyst while supporting research projects in the Department as an Honorary Research Associate.

Patrycja is currently at The University of Sydney working with Professor Mark Dadds of the University of New South Wales on a 'Like Father Like Son' project, focussing on addressing violence, antisocial behaviour and mental health of men and boys.