Policy Press

The Black PhD Experience

Stories of Strength, Courage and Wisdom in UK Academia

Edited by William Ackah, Jacqueline Darkwa, Wayne Mitchell, De-Shaine Murray and Madina Wane

Published

Sep 10, 2024

Page count

160 pages

ISBN

978-1447369981

Dimensions

216 x 140 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

Sep 10, 2024

Page count

160 pages

ISBN

978-1447369974

Dimensions

216 x 140 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

Sep 10, 2024

Page count

160 pages

ISBN

978-1447369998

Dimensions

216 x 140 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

Sep 10, 2024

Page count

160 pages

ISBN

978-1447369998

Dimensions

216 x 140 mm

Imprint

Policy Press
The Black PhD Experience

This unique book charts the journeys of Black doctoral students through UK higher education.

Using powerful firsthand accounts, the book details the experiences of Black PhD students. From application through to graduation and beyond, the book offers key insights into the workings of higher education, highlighting the structural barriers that impede progress. Challenges and recommendations are issued for the sector and wider community. This text is a witness to the tenacity and brilliance of Black students to achieve against the odds.

A game changer for the sector. Essential reading for anyone interested in equity and inclusion in higher education.

William Ackah is Senior Lecturer in Black and Community Geographies at Birkbeck, University of London.

Jacqueline Darkwa is a documentary filmmaker and science communicator.

Wayne A. Mitchell is Senior Teaching Fellow at Imperial College, London.

De-Shaine Murray is a Wu Tsai Institute Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University.

Madina Wane is a research scientist working on vaccine development within the biotechnology industry and the co-founder of non-profit organisation, Black In Immuno.

Foreword - Jason Arday and Wayne A. Mitchell

Introduction: Black PhD Journeys in Context - William Ackah

Part 1: The ‘Weighted’, Waiting Game: Being Black and Applying To Do a PhD - Wayne A Mitchell

1. Underrepresented and Undervalued: My Reflections on School, University and the Doctoral Application Process - Sophie Martin

2. Climbing the Rough Side of the Mountain: Getting into a PhD Programme - Katty Wadda

3. What I Wish I Knew: Deciding on when to Pursure the PhD - Esther Osarfo-Mensah

4. The Long and Winding Road: Tackling Barriers and Prejudice on the Journey to PhD Study - Sigourney Bonner

5. Ignorance Is Not Bliss: What Every Potential Black PhD Science Student Needs to Know - Jason Amartey

6. Being One of the Few Amongst the Many: My Journey to the PhD Starting Point - Nina Higson-Sweeney

7. Making the Garments Fit: Transitions to a Better Place - Dwaynica Greaves

Part 2: Being Black Is Not an Optional Luxury! Struggles for Rights and Recognition in the White Academic Space - Madina Wane

8. Studying Whilst Black: Reflections on Researching Blackness in White Space – Alanah Mortlock

9. Through, Around or Over the Gate? Navigating Academia from a Black Muslim Woman's Perspective - Amira Samatar

10. Fighting the Power: Challenging the Institutional Discrimination – A Personal Perspective - Hanna Akalu

11. The Missing Ones

Part 3: For Us, by Us: Finding One Another Amidst the Storm - Jacqueline Darkwa

12. That Ain’t It, So We’ll Create It: Supporting Black Students When and Where Our Institutions Fail - De-Shaine Murray

13. Finding the Black Immunologists in a Pandemic - Madina Wane

14. In the Meantime: Creating Change Through Community - Paulette Williams

15. Networks, Networking and Finding My Place in the Academic Space - Deyl Djama

16. #BlackInTheIvory: Social Media as a Tool for Racial Healing - Louisa Brotherson

17. Unravelling the Tapestry of Unspoken Rules: Living with Being Different in the Academic Space - Mary Agyapong

18. Making Space for Black Voices and Black Visions: The Formation and Work of the African Diaspora Postgraduate Network - William Ackah

Part 4: Academic Support: The Right Thing, in the Right Place, at the Right Time – De-Shaine Murray

19. Reaching Beyond the Horizon - Simone Webb

20. In and Out of Prison - Angela Charles

21. Not in This Alone: Being Supported to Break Down Barriers to PhD Success - Peggy Warren

22. When Seasons Change: Dealing with a Change in my Situation While Studying for a PhD - Rees Johnson

23. Believing That the Impossible Is Possible: My Story of Being Supported to Succeed - Clíona Kelly

Part 5: Reflections at the Completion of the PhD Journey - Madina Wane

24. What It Means To Be the First: My Journey from Windrush to PhD - Julia Morris

25. Why the ‘P’ in PhD Stands for (Black) Power - April-Louise Pennant

26. (Un)Making the Imposter Syndrome - Barbara Adewumi

27. I Came All This Way for This?! An International Student's Experience of UK Higher Education – Anon

Conclusion and Recommendations - De-Shaine Murray

Our Ancestor’s Wildest Dreams … (Fictionalisation) - Jacqueline Darkwa

Afterword: For Our Community - De-Shaine Murray