Published: 20 November 2023 at 15:37
Dr Piers Grey has graduated from Anglia Ruskin University after overcoming setbacks
An Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) student celebrated receiving his PhD at graduation, after being previously told that he would not be able to achieve the postgraduate qualification due to his autism.
Dr Piers Grey had already been rejected by another institution for his PhD, but he was determined to proceed and attended an open day at ARU and spoke to academics about his plans for a doctoral thesis.
A PhD is typically undertaken after a Master’s degree and involves many years’ work on the thesis, which must be original research on a specific subject.
Piers, 31, decided to study at ARU under the supervision of Dr Jane Aspell and his thesis centred on how people with autism experience their internal body sensations, and how this relates to empathy and emotional experience.
Having started work on his lab-based research when the Covid-19 pandemic struck in March 2020, Piers was then forced to redesign some of his studies so they could be carried out online. However, he overcame these obstacles to successfully complete his PhD.
Piers, from Wymondham in Norfolk, not only graduated at his ceremony at the Cambridge Corn Exchange, but he now works in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at ARU in Cambridge as an associate lecturer.
Dr Aspell, Associate Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said: