By Paige Fletcher

On September 22nd, 2019 at the Australian Political Studies Association PhD Day, I was elected by my peers to be the PhD Representative for 2020 and to join the APSA Executive Committee. I feel so honoured to have been selected for this role and aim to collaborate as often as possible with my peers, to ensure their voice is heard and accounted for. Within this role, I am focused on working with other members of the Executive Committee to develop and implement a Mentoring Scheme, which will hugely benefit PhD students and Early Career Researchers. I am passionate about providing other PhD students with as much support as possible, given how isolating and stressful the journey can be. As such, my main priority in this role is to form a sense of community with every PhD candidate who is an APSA member.

In addition, my role also involves the planning and running of the PhD Day at the annual APSA 2020 Conference in September. In the current phase of the planning, I am involving my peers, APSA PhD and ECR members, for their input on what they would like at the PhD Day to ensure the day is as beneficial as possible. The 2019 APSA conference was my first time attending a conference. I volunteered to assist with running the APSA PhD Day as the conference was held at Flinders University. It was a pleasure to be involved and experience the workshop as a PhD student myself. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to engage with other PhD students, to learn about their experiences and share advice with each other. I aim to organise another engaging PhD Day in 2020, providing attendees with the opportunity to form a community amongst ourselves.

As someone at the beginning of their academic career, as a PhD student, being on the Executive Committee is daunting as many of the other Executive Committee members are scholars whose work I am inspired by. Having said that, I’m grateful for the opportunity to get to know these scholars and learn from them in any capacity. Overall, I am honoured to have been selected for this opportunity and hope that I represent my peers well.


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