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Motivational Monday – Research Fellow

The latest in our Motivational Monday series features PhD student, research fellow and children’s home trustee, Eva Sprecher.

Since she joined South Hampstead aged 4, Eva’s trajectory has had many twists and turns. After leaving South Hampstead Sixth Form in 2011, Eva attended Oxford University, where she studied Experimental Psychology. Eva then trained as a teacher, teaching Physics in a secondary school, until she returned to her studies to complete a master’s degree in Developmental Psychology and Clinical Practice at UCL and the Anna Freud Centre. At the beginning of 2023, she will complete her PhD in which she examines the relationships between foster carers and the young people they care for. Currently, she works full-time as a research fellow at UCL, is a trustee of the Lighthouse Pedagogy Trust children’s home, teaches university students at UCL, and is developing a children’s book.

At school, her favourite subject was Art, and she also enjoyed playing trumpet in the jazz band. She enjoyed the freedom, openness, playfulness, and subjectivity – skills she still employs in her career today. In her research, she collaborates with care-experienced artists who create artistic interpretations of research findings, for example in postcards, ‘zines’, or children’s books, encapsulating the amalgamation of art and psychology.

Eva highlights the importance of recognising and addressing mental health issues. School years can be a turbulent time, and she notes how professional help, systems of support, and a strong network of friends can make a big difference in keeping you grounded. Indeed, the friends that supported her during her school days are still close to her now, demonstrating just how special these bonds are. As many of the children she works with struggle with school life, she says she feels lucky to be able to use her own experience and knowledge to help others.

Imparting some well-earned career advice, Eva says: “Choose a career path you think you will enjoy, and don’t be worried about making mistakes. I think you can enjoy things without being good at them. That way you don’t ever have to give up.”

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