MOSES AMAGNYA

The topic of my research is “A Study of Criminal Justice Corruption in Ghana”. The research explores the views of criminal justice and anti-corruption officials about the problem of corruption in Ghana’s criminal justice system through qualitative and quantitative research methods. The research involves interviews with judges, senior police officers, state attorneys or prosecutors, lawyers, and anti-corruption officials as well as a survey of junior ranked police officers. I hope my findings will contribute to improvements in the corruption pro0blems experienced in Ghana and many other countries throughout the world. I want my research to make a practical difference to solving these issues.

Why did you choose to do a PhD?

I am passionate about becoming a Criminology lecturer, researcher and professor at a prestigious university in the world, particularly a Ghanaian university, where little is known and taught about criminology. In order to achieve my career ambitions, I need to obtain a PhD, which will open doors for me in academia. In addition I believe that I have a lot to contribute to knowledge and bring about policy changes through my research.

Why did you choose to do a PhD at Griffith?

I chose Griffith University because of my interests, the well-structured PhD programme and available academic experts and social facilities. Also, the collaborative research opportunities at Griffith give me access to greater opportunities for innovation and discovery as a higher degree researcher, helping me to think globally and discover new world solutions. By studying at Griffith, I have the advantage of being at a research-intensive university that fosters industry, community, government, national and international research collaborations – these offer me an immersive university and research experience. I believe that the resources and experts at Griffith help me develop my skills, expertise and networks in an intellectually stimulating environment of higher academic pursuit for my career as a lecturer and researcher.

What was the thing you enjoyed/are enjoying most about doing the PhD here?

I am enjoying the nurturing and vast knowledge of professors in the criminology environment, which is building me up for a career in academics as a lecturer and researcher.  I am also enjoying the genuine enthusiasm and interest shown in my research topic by the criminology community at Griffith, especially my supervision team and head of school and overall, the acceptance of diversity within the CCJ and GCI. The PhD community here includes a good mix of local and international candidates, examining a very wide range of topics, and it’s been a wonderful supporting and enriching environment for me.

How has the vast criminology community at Griffith prepared and supported you during your PhD?

I have enjoyed excellent networking opportunities provided by the criminology community at Griffith so far. The community is very open to new ideas and always willing to support students who need extra guidance. In particular, my supervisory team of Professors Janet Ransley and Susanne Karstedt and Dr Keiran Hardy has been very wonderful in offering constructive criticisms, directions and guidance on my work. Also, the HDR convenor, Dr Danielle Reynald, has been very helpful with my studies so far, by always being willing to listen and support me to resolve any challenges that arise. My supervisory team and HDR convenor’s guidance and motivation helped me to compete at the Griffith University 3 Minutes Thesis Competition final after winning the Arts, Education and Law group heat. Additionally, the funding support by Griffith University enabled me travel to Ghana for my extensive field work, providing a significant contribution to my study. Also, seminars and workshops offered by the criminology community and across the university have help me to develop further my research knowledge and skills, form networks, and prepare me very well for a successful career after PhD. Generally, members of Griffith Criminology Institute and the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice have been immensely supportive and helpful in my PhD journey thus far. In fact, so far as my PhD study is concerned to date, the criminology community and Griffith University has been exceptional and I believe that I will continue to enjoy that level of support till completion.

What do you hope to achieve after completing your PhD?

I have always been drawn to issues of criminology with a natural interest in criminal justice and prevention of crime in the world. My aim is to obtain a lecturing and/or research job in any university in the world. My long term goal is to one day establish a Criminology department in a Ghanaian university, which may be the first of its kind. Nonetheless, I am very open to other opportunities that I will find before or upon completing my PhD, including in industry and governmental agencies.

Moses Amagnya: Griffith 3MT Finalist 2018

Moses Amagnya won the AEL heat for the 3 Minute Thesis competition and was a finalist for the 2018 Griffith 3MT.

2018 Griffith 3MT Finalist Moses Amagnya

HARLEY WILLIAMSON

I am examining how people come to support terrorism, and the role of social psychological processes in influencing this relationship. Specifically, I am interested in how perceptions of identity threat can exacerbate the likelihood that an individual may support terrorism, and whether the strength of their own identity tempers such supportive attitudes. A key element of my thesis also seeks to understand how identity threats can be developed. Here I assess how stigma and punitive attitudes are shaped and perceived. My thesis will have theoretical implications for how identity processes can explain attitudes towards terrorism. In addition, my thesis will have practical implications for informing how to counter terrorism, particularly when support for terrorism constitutes a crucial component of a terrorist network’s legitimacy.

Why did you choose to do a PhD?

I chose to do a PhD because I love research and was attracted to the idea of designing and completing my own project. I had been working in a research area I was very interested in and following the completion of my Honours thesis, did not feel I had explored the area enough. I was fortunate enough to meet my primary PhD supervisor, who agreed to mentor me throughout the PhD process in a research area I am passionate about.

Why did you choose to do a PhD at Griffith?

I chose to do a PhD at Griffith University because of my primary supervisor, Professor Tina Murphy. Tina contacted me in 2016 to tell me about a project she was involved in that she thought I might be interested in working on. The timing was serendipitous because I was at a professional crossroads and was deliberating about which direction to take my career. Tina’s mentorship and belief in me has been invaluable, as has the guidance of my associate supervisor, Dr Elise Sargeant. I can’t thank them enough for their support! I have also met some incredible academics and am surrounded by a wonderful cohort of PhD students. So my experience at Griffith has been amazing thus far, to say the least.

What was the thing you enjoyed/are enjoying most about doing the PhD here?

It is hard to pinpoint one thing at Griffith that I enjoy the most. The Griffith community is wonderful and the environment provided by the PhD cohort, academics, and the professional and administrative staff is so supportive and helpful. I really love coming into work and I am grateful for all of the professional and skills development opportunities Griffith has afforded me.

How has the vast criminology community at Griffith prepared and supported you during your PhD?

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith, as well as the Griffith Criminology Institute, houses an array of academics and PhD candidates from a range of fields and with a diversity of experiences. As a developing scholar, this environment provides a treasure trove of expertise and perspectives that I draw on eagerly to enhance my own work. The seminars, conferences, and presentation days that Griffith hosts exposes me to the work of others, as well as facilitates engagement opportunities so I can expand my professional networks. These initiatives and opportunities have been key to enhancing my PhD project and professional skillset.

What do you hope to achieve after completing your PhD?

I hope to gain employment in a university environment upon the completion of my PhD. I love teaching and research, and academia enables both. An academic career is flexible in terms of being able to work in an area you are interested in, which means you can be creative and be involved in projects you are passionate about. There is also great opportunity for collaboration with other scholars, both domestically and internationally, which facilitates the development of professional relationships both within and outside of the institution you work in.