Elena on being proactive

Elena Savinova

Name: Elena Savinova 

Department: Discourse and Pragmatics (CLS)

Research: Evaluating subjectivity in digital news stories: effects on reader groups of varying literacy skills

Started at the IMPRS: 2021

Nationality: Russian



How did you come to pursuing your research topic in Nijmegen? 

Ever since my school years, I was interested in everything connected to language. During my BA in Fundamental and Computational Linguistics at HSE University, Moscow and my RMA in Linguistics at Utrecht University, I discovered various aspects of linguistics in more detail, ranging from morphological processing to discourse comprehension. 
During my masters studies in Utrecht, I took an interest in the phenomenon of subjectivity in language. Working on this topic together with my thesis supervisors, I got to know other researchers connected to this field in the Netherlands, which eventually helped me in establishing connections and getting a PhD position at CLS with my own project about subjectivity.

What are some of the highlights of your doctoral life so far?

Some of the most stimulating and rewarding experiences that form part of my PhD life are the extra activities that I am doing in addition to my research work on the project. They include organizing a series of afternoons for the IMPRS Career Event, teaching bachelor students and supervising theses, among other things. I am happy that the IMPRS and CLS provide broad opportunities to engage in diverse tasks that are not directly related to one’s research project. These activities help in developing my transferable skills and make the PhD track much more fun. 

Make yourself and your interests known, and you will certainly find enthusiastic people who are willing to help out

What advice do you have for peers or those considering doctoral studies? 

My main advice for anyone considering a doctoral track and for those who have just started, is to be proactive in everything. Starting from contacting potential supervisors to looking for potential collaborators. Make yourself and your interests known, and you will certainly find enthusiastic people who are willing to help out and explore the topic together. It is also important to actively seek for advice and support whenever you need it. A lot of things are going to be new and challenging, but as soon as you start, you will find your way through it. 

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