The short story
Hello! I’m Dr Hazel Mazetti. I’m a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh working on the Leverhulme funded Suicide in/as Politics project (2020-2023). I finished my PhD (2017-2020) at the University of Glasgow’s MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit exploring young LGBT+ young people’s suicidal thoughts and attempts in Scotland. I am primarily a qualitative research, with some quantitative research experience, and have research interests in understanding and reducing inequalities in both health and education. I currently specialise in suicide research.
The long story
I got my first research job back in 2013, on a mixed methods research project exploring experiences of feedback and assessment in Higher Education at the University of Edinburgh, in their Institute for Academic Development. This role was my introduction to research methods and I immediately loved it and was keen to learn more. I was extremely lucky to be in a very supportive department who encouraged me to undertake an ESRC accredited masters part-time, alongside my full time role. I was awarded a University of Edinburgh staff scholarship and undertook my MSc (2014-16), where I got to study a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods and experiment working with primary and secondary data as well as using documentary and creative methods of inquiry. I graduated with distinction in 2016 and published this work in Teaching in Higher Education.
As part of my MSc I undertook a qualitative dissertation project looking at LGBT+ students’ experiences at university in Scotland. Through this project, as well as my work as volunteer work for a range of organisations (LGBT Youth Scotland, the NUS LGBT campaign, the University of Edinburgh Staff Pride network, and the Proud City Exhibition as part of Edinburgh Museums), work on LGBT+ inequalities became an area of specialisation that I was keen to focus on full-time. To do so, I decided (with the full support of my very wonderful employers) to apply for a studentship to study full-time PhD at the University of Glasgow’s Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, which I was fortunately awarded.
Initially I began with the intention of undertaking a more generalised LGBT+ youth mental health and wellbeing project, however over the course of my first-year studies, I became increasingly aware of the disproportionate burden of suicidal distress amongst LGBT+ young people, and therefore this became my specialist topic. Suicide research has subsequently become the focus of my research interests, and I was lucky enough to become part of the University of Glasgow’s Suicide Behaviour Research Laboratory run my Prof Rory of O’Connor during the course of my studies. In addition to my studies, I also volunteered to work as a co-investigator on the Wellbeing Amongst Youth in Scotland (WAYS) project that is currently on-going.
At the end of my PhD, I was lucky enough to be offered a three year post-doctoral position which I started in December 2020 on the Suicide in/as Politics project at the University of Edinburgh funded by Leverhulme. This project has given me the opportunity to expand my research experience and use a range of innovative methods. This has included compiling a data set of all mentions of suicide 2009-2019 in each of the U.K. parliaments, and using methods of Critical Policy Analysis to analyse these along with eight U.K. suicide prevention policies from the same time period. As we move forward with the project we will be using arts based research methods to explore lay understandings of the suicide and suicide prevention.
In my spare time, I continue to write up a number of summaries, journal articles and public engagement materials from my PhD alongside a number of practitioner and academic events. I have also maintained my involvement in the WAYS project and I am also working on an LGBTQ+ postgraduate student mental health project with Dr Maria Gardani and colleagues at the University of Glasgow. I am also an active member of NetECR and co-convene the NetECR Collective Care group.