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Patricia learned early in her career that nothing creative can grow in a negative working environment. But she didn’t let that stand in her way. Now a leader in academia, she is determined to play her part in changing that culture.

Patricias story from research assistant to senior academic creating a better culture

Patricia's research career nearly stalled halfway through her PhD.

Civil unrest had forced her to leave Kenya, where she was doing her fieldwork, at short notice. That put her under pressure to work out how to continue her research. 

"Everything started to feel like it was falling apart. Kenya was the main location for my PhD and it didn’t look like I was going to be able to go back safely." 

She was also pregnant with her second child – and felt unsupported at work.

"My time away on maternity leave had really been seen as writing me off. ‘That’s it now, we might never see her again,’ that kind of attitude. I found that very difficult.

This wasn’t what Patricia had expected from her PhD. She’d hardly rushed into it – for eight years she’d worked as a research assistant and then as a research fellow at two London universities.

Read the full story (Wellcome Trust website)