Kalina studied both her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the School of Law at the University of Reading. Kalina says that the course content and learning from experts was what attracted her to, and kept her at, the University of Reading.
Cementing career prospects
Faye’s experiences at Reading have been influential in shaping her current approach to research and teaching.
“A particularly inspirational aspect of study for me was the extensive module on Research Methods which opened my eyes to the richness of legal research. It was exciting to move on a week-by-week basis across varied epistemologies, ranging from doctrinal analysis, to qualitative and quantitative methods, to feminist perspectives, to critical legal studies and comparative approaches amongst others.”
The Research Methods classes enabled Faye to change the way she engaged with the literature: from seeing herself as a student to regarding herself capable of contributing to the production of knowledge.
“Having rigorous discussions on the various ways to think about law made me confident that I wanted to pursue a career in academia. I am currently employed as a Lecturer at the University of Lincoln Law School. This role allows me to continue developing the research I began at the University of Reading whilst teaching on Lincoln’s LLB and LLM degree programmes.”
Exploring PhD opportunities
When Faye began her LLM at the University of Reading, she aspired to progress to doctoral research. What made her keen to stay at Reading was the support she received from the School in realising this aspiration.
“A number of academics from across the school generously offered feedback on my PhD research proposal and guided me through the process of applying for funding schemes. I was invited to attend the School’s doctoral proposal writing workshop and I received guidance throughout the application and interview process. A number of staff members went above and beyond in helping me through what could have been a complex process and as a result I felt like a valued member of the Reading School of Law community.”
During her doctorate Faye was encouraged to take up a number of enriching activities.
“With the support of the School, alongside the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, I was able to attend the prestigious European Consortium for Political Research summer school on research methods hosted by the Central European University.
Further, I undertook six-month policy placements with the UK Cabinet Office’s Open Innovation Team and the UK Home Office. As a policy advisor I was able to work on and manage policy projects ranging from racial disparities of outcome and process within the criminal justice system to civil service innovation and data ethics regarding digital targeting.”
Other highlights include presenting her PhD research at national and international conferences in locations such as London, Washington DC, Wollongong and Los Angeles.
“I feel lucky to have had such rich experiences. I have become a more rounded researcher as a result, knowing that my contributions to furthering the field are nested within legal, policy, and civil society networks and knowledges.”