A passion for politics: Rebecca Partos
English student Rebecca Partos satisfied her passion for politics by studying with top researchers while still an undergraduate during her summer holidays under a special University scheme - now she's won funding to continue her studies as a political scientist.
Rebecca, who graduates with a first-class degree in English, won a University of Sussex Junior Research Associate bursary while in her second year of her English degree. The bursary allowed her to stay on at university during the summer vacation and experience research first hand as an undergraduate.
During that time she worked with Professor Tim Bale and Dr James Hampshire on the development of the UK Conservative Party's immigration and asylum policy since 2005. Her research supported an academic paper given by her supervisors, while Rebecca used her findings for a presentation at the first-ever British Conference of Undergraduate Research.
Rebecca has since co-written a soon-to-be-published article with Professor Bale, a leading commentator on Conservative Party politics, and Dr Hampshire, an authority on migration.
As a result, Rebecca has been awarded full funding by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the University of Sussex for a four-year programme of research training and doctoral study on developments in Conservative immigration policy since 1945.
Rebecca says: "I have always had an interest in politics and policy, having worked for two MPs and various organisations, but the JRA scheme has completely changed my plans - the experience was intellectually vigorous and great fun."