From Economics Undergraduate to PhD

ChuanziWe recently caught up with Chuanzi, an accomplished Economics alumnus who began his academic journey at the University of Bristol with a BSc in Economics in 2012. After graduating in 2016, he pursued an MSc and MRes in Economics, ultimately earning his PhD in 2023.

How did your undergraduate studies at the University of Bristol set the stage for your advanced degrees and current role at Imperial College London?

Bristol BSc Economics has equipped me with a comprehensive, scrutinised curriculum in economics and econometrics, which is crucial for a higher degree and a further career in economic research.

Can you briefly tell us about what your current role and research entails? What are the most rewarding aspects of your work?

As a postdoctoral researcher on a European Commission-funded project, my role involves collaborating with the Professor, and other team members on data collection, literature review, presenting at conferences, supervising junior researchers, proposing research questions, and conducting economic and econometric analysis. My research focuses on the intersection of health economics and empirical industrial organization (I.O.).

I find the job extremely rewarding as it grants me access to excellent data and the opportunity to connect with and learn from other talented researchers in the field. The Economics department at Imperial also has strong expertise in health economics and empirical I.O., making it a highly cultivating environment.

Can you share the journey that led you to pursue Economics from undergraduate level right through to obtaining a PhD? What motivated your decision to continue this journey solely at the University of Bristol?

My decision to stay in Bristol was greatly influenced by the tremendous support from the department and my deep affection for the city itself. The department strikes a perfect balance with its intimate size, hosting both distinguished scholars and bright, emerging researchers. Furthermore, the school provides substantial bursaries and teaching opportunities, which alleviated any financial pressures during my PhD journey.

The dedication of my supervisors, Dr Alessandro Iaria and Professor Gregory Jolivet, to my research projects was truly remarkable. Having spent a significant part of my life in Bristol, I’ve forged strong connections with the local community and have come to know every charming nook of this beautiful city intimately.

Looking ahead, what direction do you see your research taking? Are there any particular areas of Economics and Econometrics you’re eager to explore further?

In the near future, I’ll further apply adequate econometric tools to the economics of innovation through the lens of pharmaceutical market. I would like to answer questions such as what the most cost-effective design for public policy is, especially considering the interconnected nature of pharmaceutical innovation. Hopefully, this line of inquiry will yield valuable insights into how networks within the industry can influence policy outcomes.

What advice would you offer current undergraduate students considering a career in Economics and Econometrics, particularly those aspiring to pursue advanced degrees and research positions?

The courses you undertake will lay a solid foundation for your research career. Becoming a qualified researcher is a journey that requires time and resilience. Make the most of the resources available in Bristol, and maintain a strong sense of curiosity and passion for the real economy. These qualities will sustain you through your studies and enrich your research perspective.

Is there anything else about your time at Bristol and resulting career which you’d like to share?

I can’t emphasise enough the bonus of residing in such a beautiful city. Make sure to enjoy your time here! 🙂

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