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Inga Heyman – Doctor of Philosophy

Inga Heyman
An associate professor from Insch has earned her Doctor of Philosophy award from Robert Gordon University (RGU) and is proudly sharing the limelight with her daughter who is graduating simultaneously with distinction.

Dr Inga Heyman (58) crossed RGU’s virtual graduation stage in front of a global community of alumni and supporters to collect her PhD from the university’s School of Nursing, Midwifery & Paramedic Practice on Friday 16 July.

“Graduating with a PhD has been an important goal for me, both personally and professionally,” said Inga. “It’s been an important factor in my recent promotion to Associate Professor of Law Enforcement & Public Health in Edinburgh, and—although the pandemic has put a halt to graduating in person—I will be sharing family celebrations with my daughter, Grace, who is graduating with a Master’s degree in Naval Architecture from Strathclyde University.

Inga began her PhD as a staff member at RGU, which the Guardian University Guide ranked top in Scotland for health professions in 2020.

“There has always been a real sense of community within the university,” said Inga. “Even when people move on to other roles or retire, the friendships and collegiality continues.

“I completed my master’s degree in nursing at RGU, and it felt very natural to progress to PhD studies at the same university.”

Studying for a PhD part-time alongside working full-time as a Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing meant keen management of work, study, and home life for Inga—particularly during a pandemic. However, the university was there to support her journey.

Inga said: “I have been guided by fabulous PhD supervisors, librarians, examiners, and a great cheer-squad of colleagues, friends, and family throughout.”

As part of Inga’s work and studies, she enjoyed her involvement with the Scottish Institute of Policing Research (SIPR), a strategic collaboration between RGU and 13 universities across the country for conducting relevant, applicable research to help the police in Scotland meet the challenges of the 21st century.

“I have been greatly supported by the institute,” said Inga. “It brings together a vibrant, interdisciplinary group of PhD students, practitioners, and academics with a focus on police research. I’ve made life-long friendships through SIPR and will always be grateful to them for welcoming a nurse into policing research.”

Inga was drawn to her PhD research for its potential to help those who reach the police and emergency health services in mental distress by contributing to the inter-professional policy and clinical practice that supports them.

She adds: “As a result of my research, I now work on a range of national and international advisory and review panels where there is a focus on the intersect of police and health services.”

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