Life as a doctoral research student - Caspar Kaiser

Caspar Kaiser presenting at Nuffield College

Caspar Kaiser presenting at Nuffield College

Over the summer we will feature interviews with some of our current DPhil students and departmental scholarship holders. In the next of our series, we hear from Caspar Kaiser, student in Comparative Social Policy, supervised by Professor Brian Nolan.

What stage are you at in your DPhil, and what is your area of research?
I am currently in the third year of my DPhil. Most of my work is on the determinants of subjective wellbeing, and the methodological foundations of such empirical research. Throughout the last year I also developed a general interest in the effects and determinants of social mobility.

What have been the highlights of this academic year for you?
There were several. Within the department, attending and presenting at the student organised "graduate research conference" was a great joy. Beyond the department, it was stimulating to listen to Philip Pettit's John Locke lectures at the Department of Philosophy. Personally, it was great to win - with Nhat An Trinh - the Barnett Prize for the best Graduate Student Research Paper.
What has been challenging?
Doing a DPhil is a humbling experience. This year, I was often frustrated for making mistakes in my research that I could only blame on myself.

What difference does having a departmental scholarship make to your studies?
All the difference. Without this scholarship, I would not have been able to do a DPhil at Oxford. I am very grateful for that.