Last Splash

Like all the best punk rock songs, this final post is short. It is dedicated to Dr Mark Erickson, whose guidance, practical wisdom and integrity on my PhD journey are as punk rock as they come.

You can find Mark’s work here: and on Twitter here: @drmarkerickson

On 11 November, my 49th birthday, and just over four years to the day since starting my PhD, I received the news that my examiners had approved my corrections, and I finally became Dr Barras.

Despite the arrival of (and its refusal to depart) a global pandemic, 7 months of home schooling, some pretty rubbish events at home and the mother of all viva twists, doing a PhD has never failed to delight me. I hope I have thanked everyone who deserved thanking, and most sweetly, never again will I have to juggle studying with visits to trampoline parks with my son.

For now, I need a good, long break away from the PhD and all its fiddly demands and focus on the amazing job I have as a researcher for the charity Mermaids. Because no matter what, being able to work for an organisation whose core focus in on supporting the lives of gender diverse children, young people and their families – well, that’s just the best last splash I was hoping for.

My thesis has been published on google scholar and can be found here:

I’m off for a swim.

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