Community of Scholars Stories

A number of RCBC fellows have been working with StoryWorks to develop digital stories regarding their experiences of being involved with the Community of Scholars.


They talk about how being involved in the Community of Scholars has benifited them in terms of the unique training opportunities offered by RCBC Wales.  Scholars receive training that is 'over and above' what they can expect to receive as part of their research at their host University.  They also talk about how the Community of Scholars has been beneficial in terms of providing a peer support network. 


The scholars meet at these training days on a bimonthly basis and this gives scholars the opportunity to discuss various issues with colleagues as part of a community learning environment.  This network of support has been cited as invaluable to many of the scholars as they have progressed through their studies.


Four of our Postdoctoral scholars have made digital stories and they can be found at below.  Further information on StoryWorks can be found at their website

Digital Stories

Paul Gill, Senior Lecturer,

School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University
See Paul's story here 

The password is paul

Ben Hannigan, Postdoctoral Fellow
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Cardiff University
See Ben's story here 

The password is ben

Aled Jones, Postdoctoral Fellow

School of Health Science, Swansea University
See Aled's story here

The password is aled

Allyson Lipp, Postdoctoral Fellow

Faculty of Health, Sport and Science, University of Glamorgan
See Allyson's story here

The password is allyson

Quotes from the Scholars

In addition to the digital stories above, RCBC has collected quotes from scholars about the value of being involved in the Community of Scholars and how it has helped in terms of training.

  • The collegiality and support is excellent.
  • The continuing support and developing relationships with my fellow colleagues is excellent.
  • It has illuminated areas of potential value in defense of my thesis as well as encouraging alternative perspectives.  It has also influenced thoughts around research design and funding issues. 
  • They (master classes) are useful for networking and discussion opportunities. The peer support for students deeper in the process seems to be very useful. It gives opportunity to people and information that would otherwise be difficult to come by.
  • The Community of Scholars away days are invaluable and greatly enhance my PhD.
  • I have found them useful in terms of seeing people further on than me, and seeing that it is actually possible to get to the end of the PhD unscathed! It is also good to meet influential people and policymakers to see their views on the scheme and the value that they put on it.
  • I felt that Dr Jean White (CNO) was very forthcoming and supportive when I spoke with her about how to get more involved and build up my skill-sets while I am a PhD student in order to apply for a health-policy related job later on.
  • It’s excellent to have people like Jean White at our disposal – when else would we be granted access like this? 
  • The commitment shown by RCBC facilitators is encouraging and highlights the importance of this award – this in itself is a good motivator to progress and succeed.
  • I really enjoyed and value the opportunity to meet other PhD students and to have that support network in place. I left feeling very enthused and excited about the RCBC Wales programme. 
  • The progression of the away days overall (since starting RCBC fellowship) have been excellent. They are logical and have followed my own progression and development, so have been timely. 
  • The value of the days can’t be overstated. The sense of community was initially slow to develop, but is truly supportive, encouraging and has helped with my engagement with the whole PhD process. It has kept me going through the more difficult phases of the PhD.


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