I believe I have been extremely fortunate in my research career so far: being at the right place at the right time and finding the right people to guide me into the right opportunities or helping me to create them. As far as I know, I am a first-generation researcher who happened to have the best time of my life during my master’s when I was introduced to research. My contributions in the first practical rural immersion research project and the final master’s dissertation were received well by expert examiners, giving me the confidence needed to go through the selection process for an MPhil. I imagined this second exclusively research-oriented master’s degree would act as a trial run before I signed up for a longer commitment of a PhD. In the meantime, I also cleared a competitive national examination1 that would fund my PhD.

As I am writing this...

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