Get to know PhD Student – Jinwen Chen


In this month’s newsletter, we would like to introduce PhD graduate Jinwen Chen from the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work.

Jinwen’s recently submitted thesis, “Imagining Ageing Futures: LGBTQ+ Multicultural People in Australia” received outstanding results from the examiners.

We asked Jinwen to share what led her to a Phd, the most enjoyable and hardest parts of a PhD journey and what the future holds.

What was your research about

My research explored the hopes and fears of ageing for LGBTQ+ multicultural people aged 50 and above in Australia. Using photographs and interviews with participants, it illuminated how ageing can be reimagined for those at the intersections.

What was been one of the hardest parts of the journey?

The hardest part of the PhD was doing it alone, particularly during the COVID-19 lockdown. While I do sometimes enjoy the solitary writing and thinking process, doing it alone for over three years was challenging. I am thankful for my supervisors’ regular PhD students catch-ups, as well as my friends—PhD explorers or otherwise—for keeping me motivated and on track throughout this journey.

What was highlight of your student life at Flinders?

Attending conferences post-COVID-19 was definitely the highlight. I was lucky that the borders re-opened before the end of my PhD. Presenting my work and connecting with other scholars nationally and internationally made up for the lonely PhD time spent in lockdown.

How has your PhD influenced your future career? Where do you see your career heading in the future?

I am a much better writer and analytical thinker now than I was before my PhD. Although these are skills are that often underrated, I believe that they will go a long way in whatever career and role I undertake.

What advice would you give to those who are about to undertake a PhD?  

Remember that a good PhD is a completed PhD, not a perfect PhD. There is never perfection in PhD, but we will often be amazed looking back at what we managed to produce.

Have you published anything?

I have published a couple of journal articles on my research. I am in the midst of publishing my findings in journals.

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