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Dr Kate Mukungu is Chief Executive of Riverside Community Health Project in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. In September 2022 Kate completed her part time doctorate at Northumbria University researching women’s human rights activism relations in post conflict contexts.  As well as being the source of great richness to Kate, the dual interest of working in the voluntary and community sector and conducting research carries some frustration, due to difficulty of pursuing both fully at the same time. For five years during her doctorate Kate crossed over into academia and became a full time academic, lecturing in Social Sciences before returning to the community sector. 

In this episode we talk about undertaking a doctorate when already living a full and committed life in terms of career, family etc.  Spoiler alert – it can be done!

Kate explains about how she used her professional experience in the workplace to project-manage the PhD and shares a genius tip of a whatsapp group of one to help with productivity!

Kate talks about the importance of ‘finding your people’ and how reaching out to other people helped and joining networks helped her get to the finish line.  She talks about the importance of people who will be there to celebrate successes as well as support you when you are struggling.

Finally Kate reflects on periods where she interrupted her studies as productive and useful parts of the process – as well as the dangers of “running on empty”.

You can find out more about Kate’s work here:

If you would like a useful weekly email to support you on your PhD journey you can sign up for ‘Notes from the Life Raft’ here: