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School of Social Sciences

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Mobility Grant Scheme

We offer many students funding to gain additional experiences alongside their studies.

Jaime Garcia-Iglesias, a current Sociology PhD student from Spain, had the opportunity to take two visits to the US, both funded by our PGR Mobility Grant Scheme. Jaime's research focuses on men who have unsafe sex with men with the intent of contracting HIV. 

Tell us about your experience 

"First, I visited Rollins College, in Florida. During my stay there, I worked with Prof Lisa Tillmann, Chair of the Department of Critical Media and Cultural Studies and Dr Steve Schoen, Associate Professor of the same department. This visit allowed me to better define some of the methodological approaches I will be using in my work, gave helpful signposting to already existing research on eating-disorder-communities online as part of the process of research, and gave me insight into the job market in the US. 

The following month, I visited Chicago, to work alongside Dr Miguel Caballero, Fellow at the University of Chicago. His work is heavily influenced by queer theory and we engaged in a productive dialogue about HIV medication and PrEP and how further research could look into these. 

I also visited Dr David A. Moskowitz, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences of the Feinberg School of Medicine and the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing at Northwestern University. Dr Moskowitz has previously worked on bugchasing - my research area - and proved a valuable source of information and an engaged colleague. We both agreed to continue working on some projects.

While in Chicago, I also visited the ACTUP archive at the University of Chicago library and the archives at the Leather Archives and Museum. In both cases, while archival work is not a primary source in my project, the visits proved insightful because I could find no early evidence of bugchasing but did find interesting pieces on PrEP and community-building. 

Afterwards, I visited Prof Tim Dean at the University of Illinois Urbana-Campaign. This was a particularly exciting visit as Prof Dean is a key figure in my area of research. We met several times over those days, and it was truly a successful engagement, we talked about the limitations of his own work and the struggles I was facing with mine. We debated the influence of the internet and we talked about how different perspectives could fit together.

Overall, I believe these visits were particularly useful for my research as I move into my second and third years and look for networking and analytical frameworks in my work.