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President's Scholarships: Hannah Pitt

A chance e-mail brought Hannah Pitt back to Cardiff ...

Hannah took a Masters at the School six years ago, studying sustainability, planning and environmental policy.

From there, she went to work for a number of environmental organisations in policy advocacy roles. Her most recent job involved sustainable food issues, including the use of allotments.

However, Hannah had always been considering a return to academic life. In 2010, a circular e-mail crossed her desk from a food and climate change newsletter she happened to subscribe to. It mentioned a new scholarship scheme at Cardiff University, with opportunities to investigate food and sustainability.

Giving up on the world of work and returning to the world of study was not a decision taken lightly. Hannah says it is unlikely she could have made the decision without the financial support of a President's Research Scholarship.

The combination seemed ideal to Hannah, who is now back at her old School as one of Cardiff University's first wave of President's Research Scholars. Supervised by Professor Paul Milbourne, she is investigating community gardens in the UK.

Interest in allotments and community gardens has increased dramatically. Hannah is asking why, and what benefits people get from being involved.

She said: "When the topic of community gardens was identified for one of the President's Research Scholarships, I jumped at the chance. The opportunity to return to Cardiff University and be part of their burgeoning expertise on food was particularly appealing".

"I hope that having a few years experience in the world of environmental politics under my belt will bring something to the School".

"I'd like to continue working in research, probably within a university but I'll always have an eye on how I contribute to environmental campaigning. My President's Research Scholarship will give me crucial experience and help me establish contacts.".

"A group of us is working together in this area and I hope we can add to Cardiff's reputation for research on sustainability and food".

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