School of Economics

Cristina Lafuente

Cristina graduated from the PhD programme in July 2018. Following a postdoctoral position at the University of Edinburgh, she is taking up a prestigious postdoctoral position at the European University Institute in Florence.

Image of Cristina Lafuente

Why did you choose the University of Edinburgh?

The department’s expertise in my area of study (labour economics) was the main factor. The School of Economics is renowned for its research into the interaction between unemployment and the macro-economy. The availability of funding was also crucial. The University offered me support to apply for a 1+3 ESRC fellowship, which supported me through the MSc programme and the PhD.

What attracted you to this programme in particular?

The seamless integration between the MSc and the PhD was great - I already knew I wanted to stay in academia, so for me it was fantastic. The teaching opportunities and training were also very valuable. The department is quite small so you get the chance to talk to all academics beyond your supervisors. We have a small PhD community that is very well integrated.

The city of Edinburgh is one of the best places to live in the world. Loads of green spaces, a friendly community and beautiful beyond comparison.

What did you enjoy most about your time here?

The city of Edinburgh is one of the best places to live in the world. Loads of green spaces, a friendly community and beautiful beyond comparison. Edinburgh will forever be my home.

My best experiences are mostly related to teaching – when you get thanked for your work by the students, it really makes all of the effort worthwhile. I have also been very lucky as the School of Economics has organised fantastic conferences. Participating in, and helping organise them, has been very fun but also inspired me to carry on with my research.

What are your plans for the future?

I am continuing my academic career in the European University Institute in Florence. This is one of the most prestigious and competitive Postdoctoral positions in Europe. It would not have been possible for me to achieve this without my time in Edinburgh – the PhD programme offered me all of the preparation and mentorship I needed to start my academic career with a bang. From there, I would like to become an Economics Professor. I want to inspire future generations of students to study economics, become critical citizens and together push the boundaries of knowledge.

If you could offer any advice to new or current students, what would it be?

Definitely do some teaching, even if your scholarship means you don't need to. It is really rewarding and it helps ground you when research gets tough. Talk to your supervisors and to other students, they will be your guide and support. Always take one day off, even when you are full of work. Take care of yourself. Finally, take any chance you have to participate in conferences and other academic events where you socialise with people, you will feel less alone and inspired!