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A student perspective on the experience of UK market users


The Markets 4 People team has been very fortunate in welcoming a new researcher to our ranks for the summers of 2019 and 2020: Laidlaw Scholar and University of Leeds Geography student Meegan Worcester. Meegan, who is now embarking on the second year of her undergraduate degree, successfully applied for the scholarship placement offered by the research team and funded by the Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship programme. The scheme offers talented and motivated undergraduate students the opportunity to spend six weeks embedded in a research project over the course of two summers, to gain knowledge, skills and experience to become active global citizens and future leaders.

Meegan joined the project at an exciting phase, with the team having recently completed a survey of 500 market users at each of our three case study markets - Bury, Newcastle Grainger and Queens’ Market in Newham, London. Building on this data-gathering exercise, the focus of the placement was organising a series of focus groups in the three markets and contributing to the analysis of survey data, to yield crucial insights and help the team to paint a picture of market users’ behaviours and attitudes.

it has shaped the way I now view academia and the role of a researcher

We were delighted to benefit from Meegan’s diligent and insightful commitment to the project and her ability to very quickly grasp the team’s research aims and methods. Meegan, in turn, has described the experience as “quite the journey” in her report on the first year of the placement, noting that “it has shaped the way I now view academia and the role of a researcher.”

Next summer Meegan will be rejoining the team for a further six weeks, supporting a number of dissemination events hosted in our case study markets. There will also be an opportunity to network with colleagues on the international, HERA-funded Moving Marketplaces project, led by Markets 4 People Co-Investigator Professor Sophie Watson.

Click to read Meegan’s full report on the first year of the placement:

Full Report