Following a BA in Political Studies at the University of Leeds (2005-2008) and MSc in Policy Studies at the University of Edinburgh (2009-10) I am currently studying at the University of Edinburgh as part of a 1+3 ESRC Studentship for an MSc(R) and PhD in Politics. In between my studies I have worked for a number of not-for-profit organisations, including CLIC Sargent and the Scottish Youth Parliament, in the fields of research, policy and campaigning. Presently, alongside my research, I work as a Research and Policy Assistant at Jubilee Scotland, and have been involved in a research project funded by the AQMeN Collaborative Small Grants Scheme (to be completed March 2012).
My research seeks to explore a paradox of participation amongst higher education students in the UK and the contradiction between micro-level explanations of an education-voting relationship and macro-level observations of declining electoral turnout amongst an increasingly educated youth electorate. Specifically, I am interested in applying a multi-level approach to understand the short-term impact of a university education on an individual, and the supply and demand factors which affect students’ voting decisions. This will include researching the extent to which a university education encourages and facilitates issue-based political participation, the extent to which a university environment provides opportunities for varying forms of participation, and how these two concepts interact.