Dr Amy Booth 

PhD student – Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics (2020-2023)

Inspired by research taking place at Aston University, Amy decided to stay on after her master’s degree to undertake a PhD. 
 

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Decoding socially deviant online forums

Amy’s thesis uses theories and methods from sociology and linguistics to analyse how members of socially deviant online forums engage with the forum community. She focuses on members' evolving connection to the community and how this is mirrored in their language. 

New discoveries 

Amy has always loved learning, and the idea of research was exciting as she saw it as an opportunity to discover new things. She became interested in her research project because the political climate, online and beyond, has been a major trend in her adult life.

Expertise and exciting research 

The Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics (AIFL) is the largest, and one of the most internationally renowned, communities of forensic linguists in the world. I came to Aston to study the MA in Forensic Linguistics and found the course fascinating. I was inspired to stay on for a PhD because of the exciting research being done by the community at the Institute. 

Development of soft skills and interdisciplinary supervisors 

Amy had an invaluable experience with the comprehensive researcher training programme, covering writing, presentation, networking, career planning, and project management.

These are the soft skills and knowledge that it seems are often expected of researchers, but which I never had the opportunity to learn before starting my PhD.

Diverse perspectives from her cross-disciplinary supervisory team have not only enhanced her confidence but also empowered her to make better informed decisions for her project. 

Supportive postgraduate researcher (PGR) community 

Amy’s involvement in the Aston Postgraduate Research Society (APRS) as both a committee member and president were a great way to get to know PGRs across the University and hearing from others was a great source of support and advice for her. 

I enjoyed organising and attending the Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Research Conference, which is a great opportunity for PGRs to gain experience in presenting their research in a friendly and constructive environment.