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Postgraduate Research

Why Queen’s for Postgraduate Study - Erin McGrattan, PhD Cancer Epidemiology

"Queen’s is well-known for research excellence, and it stood out as it is driven to make a global impact. I believe that I will gain more opportunities by studying at Queen’s compared to other institutions."

The Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research
The Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research

What do you think are the benefits of a postgraduate degree?

My postgraduate research degree has multiple benefits, as it is shaping me to become an academic researcher. I am gaining knowledge of a niche and specific subject area, to where I believe, I can become an expert. 

Why did you decide to pursue PG study?

It was always my career aspiration to become a Doctor of Philosophy, however, my main goal was to produce new research based on something I am passionate about, which is Public Health. By pursuing postgraduate study, I have been able to develop transferable research skills, ranging from academic writing to resilience. 

Find out more about Postgraduate Research at Queen's

What made Queen’s stand out from other universities during your initial research?

Queen’s is well-known for research excellence, and it stood out as it is driven to make a global impact. I believe that I will gain more opportunities by studying at Queen’s compared to other institutions as they excel in collaboration with other stakeholders. 

Why did you ultimately decide to move to Belfast and study at Queen’s?

I have always lived in Northern Ireland and completed my undergraduate degree at Queen’s. During this time, Queen’s became familiar and I built relationships with other staff and students here. I developed a fantastic working relationship with a few staff members at the Centre for Public Health and this led to me seeking out a postgraduate research position within the group. 

Hear more about the research being done in the Centre for Public Health

How has the Queen’s Graduate School supported your postgraduate journey?

Queen’s Graduate School has been a cornerstone of helpful information and support throughout my postgraduate journey. In particular, it has been a safe, silent study space for me to retreat to when I need a change of pace and scenery from my usual days work. The space within the school is architecturally beautiful and creates a peaceful and calm area for work.

Interior of Graduate School

Graduate School study space

I have attended some of their programmes, including How to Write a CV and Performing a Literature Review Search. I would like to attend more social events here in future and I will certainly make use of their events based on thesis submission and viva preparation in my third year of study. 

How will your course at Queen’s help with your future career aspirations?

My course has prepared me to strive for excellence within my future careers aspirations, I want to continue research within the Public Health sector and believe Queen’s is the place to do this. I hope to publish my research in relevant journals and maybe one day become a lecturer. 

What skills have you developed as a result of your course?

I have developed all relevant research skills throughout my PhD programme. I communicate effectively with my supervisors through bi-weekly and monthly meetings and now organise our research group's weekly journal clubs.

Research to Reality: Find out more about Queen's impact

I have learned networking skills by attending various conferences and by developing relationships with my colleagues. I can work independently and have developed my academic reading and writing skills. 

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Queen's Centre for Public Health

The Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research

PhD research opportunities

Erin McGrattan  

PhD in Cancer Epidemiology | Postgraduate Student | Northern Ireland

Hi, I'm Erin McGrattan. I'm from County Down in Northern Ireland and I studied for my undergraduate degree in Queen's in BSc Food Quality, Safety and Nutrition. I am now undertaking a PhD in Cancer Epidemiology, focusing on oesophageal cancer and I'm situated in the Centre for Public Health.

I love Belfast and have lived in the city for a few years, so I am open to answering any questions regarding its history, nightlife, best food spots and student accommodation. I am an avid camogie player so I'm interested in any GAA or sports clubs in my area.

Erin McGrattan