PhD Research update Noortje de Weers
Last August I moved to Vancouver to start my 5-year-long PhD program at Simon Fraser University. I will have completed my first year at the beginning of August; the university actually has a summer term so I am currently working on my fifth and final course of this academic year. The first semester was extremely stressful; I barely had time to even breathe! Thankfully the second semester was the exact opposite, so I finally had some time to explore the city and its surroundings. I joined a dodgeball team -which is not even considered a sport in the Netherlands as far as I know. It's great fun but because I'm so bad at it I'm usually out fairly quickly. I am mostly going for the social aspect of it anyway. ;) I exercise enough to take my mind off of things though! Ultimate frisbee, salsa, bootcamps, swing dance.... there's definitely a lot going on here!
The work I am doing for this last course feeds directly into my dissertation, which is finally taking shape! I have a great supervisor who gives me free reign, so I have many ambitious plans. Next year I will briefly come back to the Netherlands for a month or so to conduct some fieldwork for two of those projects. I want to repeat one study that I will first conduct here in Amsterdam as well, in order to tap into the two countries' very different cultural contexts. Since my research is about linguistic stereotyping, I expect to find strikingly different results in the two countries.
In the Fall I will conduct my very first research project for my dissertation. Because the study is based on deception, I can't say too much about it, but it involves animated avatars. :) The plan is to do multiple different studies over the course of the next few years, which will together form my dissertation. If I can get some of the results of these studies published along the way, then that would be great! So that's my plan. Plan, conduct, report, publish, repeat!