Karina Lovell

Karina gained a qualification and professional knowledge from her doctorate, which were both important for her career. Now she works as a therapist for a charity, and a professor of mental health.

"Having previously worked as a clinical nurse specialising in cognitive behavioural therapy, I did my doctoral research in post-traumatic stress disorder. I wanted to be in a position of influence to change patient care for the better, so I also gained a teaching qualification before working part-time as a clinician and part-time as an academic – moving from lecturer to senior lecturer to professor. My current role involves research as well as teaching.

"My doctorate gave me the basic skills to be a successful researcher, a thorough grounding in critical appraisal, and an introduction to the academic world. The confidence I gained working in a multi-disciplinary environment, and the insight into the expertise of other professionals, has been highly influential in my career.

"Working in both a clinical and a research setting is a challenge but I would advise others to persevere, think through different career pathways, and speak to other researchers and clinicians."