Why did I decide to continue with Ph.D.?

What? Why? Where?

Nowadays, the world faces multiple challenges caused by climate change and geopolitical instability. All of them directly or indirectly connect to processes taking place in the energy field (energy markets fluctuations, policies, and technologies development). Given the complexity of the issue, its constant chops, and changes, it is extremely hard to keep track of all the aspects and try not to overlook a bigger picture simultaneously. That is where having good mentors comes in very handy.

Ph.D. studies, compared to the other levels of educational programs, allow you to go really deep into a field of your interest, conduct your own extensive research but at the same time still have someone guiding you through the process, providing valuable advice and adjusting your trajectory. These sound like a perfect fit for energy matters exploration.

At Masaryk university, there is no separate Ph.D. program focused just on energy. However, you can find top-level experts in the field in the International Relations and European studies department. Having a social science background, these professors cover topics on energy geopolitics, energy justice, and the complexities of the energy transition.

How did I get here?

My studies at Masaryk University were, so far, the best academic experience in life. That is where my “energy journey” has started with the Energy Policy Master program. Every week, I had highly informative lectures with top experts in the energy policy area, which were fact-based and made me think about the topics raised and debate them with fellow students. We studied from the top-notch literature, regularly writing assignments and receiving great feedback on our performance. In the classroom and outside of it, I felt I could always ask a question or share a thought with our lecturers, and they will take the time to respond to it, to share their views with me, and help me better understand an issue at hand.

By the end of my second semester, I began working at the faculty within a research team. There we focus on the ways to smoothen European decarbonization by evaluating sector coupling possibilities. It motivated me to explore various relevant technological solutions and regulatory approaches. Also, it gave me an opportunity to learn much more from our professors, thanks to our regular interactions. Apart from that, I also had a chance to participate in ECPR General Conference, presenting my master thesis research focused on German hydrogen discourse. I got very valuable comments and suggestions, and inspiration from other presentations. Besides, I was lucky to participate in a couple of interesting summer and spring schools, expanding both my knowledge and circle of acquaintances in the energy field.

Realizing what a good environment for development Masaryk University is, the decision to continue my studies and apply for Ph.D. seemed very natural. I really wanted to stay on the project I got involved in and at the same time extend my own research on hydrogen policy development and discourse interconnection. The idea is to trace how the policy development is reflected in the public discourse and at the same time how public discourse contributes to shaping the policy itself.

With this being said, I put myself together to write a research proposal, had it presented at the interview with admission comity, and here I am, a Ph.D. student at the International relations and European politics program, in my second semester. I feel very lucky to have a chance to share ideas and work alongside talented scholars on the topic that excites me!

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