Doctoral College

Introducing your LSU Doctoral Researcher Co-Presidents (2020-21)

Written by Callie Merrick and Nathan Ritchie

Callie Merrick:

Hello! I am Callie Merrick and I am one half of the LSU Doctoral Researcher Presidents Team for the coming academic year. Myself and Nathan Ritchie will be leading and representing the doctoral community, with almost fifteen years of experience between us. We hope to be able to listen to your concerns, address issues and give guidance, hopefully while having a bit of fun too!

A photo in which I look worryingly like my mother.

A few things about me:

  • Here’s the classic university student introduction – I am currently in the final year of my PhD in the Environmental Ergonomics Research Centre. My research is looking at how humans integrate different senses to form an overall perception of wetness in the outside world.
  • I have always been proactive in the university community, whether this is being an academic representative, student ambassador or peer mentor.  I guess you could say I’m a bit of a people person?
  • When I’m not busy with university work, I’m often at the ice rink, tandem cycling or herding guinea pigs – probably a little less standard!
  • It sounds cliché, but I’m very motivated by happiness (and cake). I always want to make the best of things and ensure that everyone has good experiences.

What I hope to achieve in the role:

  • I hope to make a strong network between reps of all schools so that information flows easily between students and staff, which is really important to help academic journeys run smoothly. If you think this is something you would be good at, applications to become an academic representative open on the 5th October.
  • Act as communication point between doctoral researchers, LSU, the Doctoral College and the PhD SSN. It looks like we’re going to need a list of acronyms too!
  • Become an approachable voice within the community such that people can come to me for anything and everything, be it help, advice or even complaints. Whether an issue is large or small, everyone deserves to be heard. 
  • Create new initiatives for a range of Doctoral Researchers and celebrate their ongoing achievements.

So, that’s a short introduction from me. If you have any suggestions or queries for the coming year and would like to get in touch – our contact details are at the end of this blog.

Nathan Ritchie:

Hi! My name is Nathan Ritchie and I am your LSU Doctoral Researcher Co-President for the 2020/21 academic year. I am going to introduce myself in 500 words so you can get to know me a little better.

When you hate to smile.. go blue steel and monochrome

Along with your other Co-President, Callie Merrick, we will be the leading representative voice for our Doctoral Research community here at Loughborough. Not only representing views and concerns but also taking action for the betterment of both current and future Doctoral Researchers. We may all be junior in terms of researchers, but we are the most experienced group of students at the university. So, together we have a lot to offer!

Five things to know about me:

  • I am from Newport, Telford. A small town in Shropshire in the West Midlands. It is about a 2 hour journey by train from Loughborough. And yes, it is also a name of one the halls of residence.
  • I am in the final year of my PhD. I am in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities and my research interests centre on connections between history, politics, and media. My thesis looks at the Partition of British India and its representation in the UK press.
  • I have been a module/course/school representative throughout my time in Higher Education. That totals around 7 years of rep experience!  
  • When I am not representing or I enjoy endurance sports, listening to radio and music and catching up with friends.  Pretty standard stuff.
  • I am guided by a clear set of values. I believe in fairness of opportunity for all and increased support for those facing additional challenges.

Anyway, that’s me summed up in five bullet points.  I am always available to chat if you ever want to catch up and get to know each other a bit more. I want to hear from as many Doctoral Researchers as possible this year.

It’s me under a double rainbow, under a waterfall.

Five primary Presidential Team duties:

  • Work together with the representatives from each school. Want to be a rep and join the team? You can apply here to be a Lead Representative or through your school administrators to be a representative.
  • Develop clear communication channels between Doctoral Researchers, LSU, and Doctoral College. Work closely with the Doctoral College throughout the year.
  • Be a leading voice in the community. Stand up for shared values and beliefs and promote equality and diversity. Celebrate achievements of PGRs and raise concerns on behalf of the community when necessary.
  • Formulate initiatives that will benefit the Doctoral Researcher community.
  • Signpost – making sure Doctoral Researchers are aware of both on-and off-campus services.

If you feel that we, your Presidential Team, are failing on any one of these key duties and/or you have any ideas to help us fulfil them, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at any point throughout the year ( and

Please also follow us on Twitter: @DrPresTeamLboro @ckmerrick6 @NathanRitchie16

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