Dr. Irene Papanicolas hasn’t always wanted to become an academic – her parents are academics, and she decided to find her individual path, and to become a policy worker. But sometimes you don’t choose a career, but rather the career chooses you. After finishing her PhD, she found employment as a researcher, realised quickly that she both liked and excelled at that sort of work and found she had accidentally become an academic anyway. Teaching is very much a natural part of being a full academic:
“I find teaching is a great way of talking about the areas that I am interested in, researching it with other people.”
For Irene, learning and research are never purely solitary activities; community and collaboration – being with and learning with others – are essential to being a scholar. Irene is quite the LSE product, having been with us for ten years. She came as a PhD student in 2006, and has since become a fixture in LSE Health and Social Care, one of our many Research Centres; as well as in the wider department of Social Policy.