Introducing: Nehaal Bajwa

Today we are introducing Nehaal, who will be taking over our Instagram stories for the day tomorrow to show us what a day in her life looks like. Though, with the current Covid-19 situation, we think that this might not be a typical day! But it’s good to share that we’re all in the same boat 🙂

Remember to follow @sussexreshive and follow #TuesdayTakeover to see what Nehaal is getting up to!

for hive takeover


What is your PhD about?

I spoke to fathers and their families in low-income and middle-income households in different areas of Lahore, a very large city in Pakistan, about the way they practise fathering, and how they construct that fathering in narratives of family life, both presently and over their lives.

As a PhD researcher, what do you want or need from the Research Hive?

Just a PhD community focused around the fact that we have this odd, fairly long, individual research project to complete, which comes with its own particular issues and need for various kinds of solidarity and understanding. Time to write together and focus together, because the PhD experience can be very fragmented, in the sense that there is a need to keep your eye on several different things at once: teaching, professional development, conferences, writing your thesis, considering publication, to name just a few. And a few social events as the PhD can be so isolating and not everyone’s departments have a culture of socialising which suits everyone.

What crucial thing have you learned during you PhD that may help other students?

That ultimately this is your own project and your own life – although supervisors and others are tasked with overseeing it and keeping an eye on your progress, if you feel you need something, some accommodation or more time or less pressure, you should stand by that feeling. Nobody knows your working habits and needs as well as you do, so if you think something needs attention, even if others don’t agree, advocate for yourself! Or, get someone to advocate on your behalf – the students’ union and Student Life Centre, or Student Support Unit, can often help with advice.

Where can we find you when you’re not working on your PhD?
I teach on a Foundation Year course one day a week, which involves looking at social policy and welfare – it’s really interesting and my students are great, we have a lot of really interesting discussions about their experiences on campus and before they arrived, as well as their views on important issues of the day.

I am also a part-time research assistant for CIRCY, the Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth, along with my friend Loreto. We run events and seminars, and recently set up a Doctoral Researchers Network – please do get in touch if your work relates to childhood and youth in any way and we can add you to it!

I’m also running in the Students’ Union election at the moment, for the position of Diversity, Access, and Participation Officer, so I’m spending my evenings and breaks talking to students about what I would bring to the role. Voting is open all week – to read candidates’ manifestos and vote you just need to sign in (using your Sussex login details) to the Students’ Union website:


Let us know what the rest of you are up to and how you’re dealing with the changed routines. Leave your answers in the comments or email us on

This is also to let you know that the Hive has set up virtual workspaces and a general space to share and engage with other researchers on Slack. Here is the link for that:


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