When I agreed to take part in the panel discussion on life as a PhD student, I was asked to send in a short description of my research focus and what my dissertation work is about so that they could publish that text on their website along the other PhD students description of their focus.

The wording of this text required some thought, but in the end I had formulated the following text which I sent in an email to her:

I am a PhD student at the Department of Health Sciences at Lund University, where I belong to the research group Active and Healthy Ageing. In my dissertation, I study the potential ethical and epistemic contributions of various collaborative approaches in research on ageing and health. This is done by providing thorough examples of what various collaborative approaches can add, ethically and epistemically, but also by giving an account of what they may require in terms of for example resources and attitudes and what the challenges are.

I felt very satisfied with the text and realized that even though I spent a (too) large amount of time studying various theories in the field, it is obviously the case that it has borne fruit. I feel that I have deeply understood what user involvement or public involvement is really about. That it is ultimately a question of knowledge AND power, or epistemiology and ethics.

My four sub-studies are in many ways disparate and thus difficult to reconcile between two binders, within which my dissertation, with the kappa at the forefront, must be accommodated. Therefore, it felt so satisfying to realize that it probably works very well to combine the four sub-studies under the overall purpose that can be read in the quoted email text.

This also led me to start sketching a kappa in earnest for the first time. It looks like this right now. Admittedly only in its infancy, but it has still received a certain skeleton to build on.