Sabina Savadova (PhD student)

Thesis title: Using living journals to explore the role of digital media in young children’s everyday experiences: Listening to families’ stories in Azerbaijan


My qualitative study explores the role of digital media in young children's everyday lives and its influences on family dynamics in a domestic environment in Azerbaijan, my home country. My PhD study is funded by the University of Edinburgh, through College Research Student Award Scheme. 

I hold Master's degree from the University of Ruse in Bulgaria, and the University of Regensburg in Germany with distinction. My BA in English philology is from the Azerbaijan University of Languages in Azerbaijan with distinction. 

Prior to starting this PhD programme, I have worked as a research assistant and head adviser in the Ministry of Education in Azerbaijan. I was also involved in teaching English to adults in different organizations in Baku, alongside with teaching Azerbaijani to American volunteers in Peace Corps/Azerbaijan for two terms. Currently, I am also working as a research assistant at Edinburgh College of Art, and as a master dissertation supervisor at Moray House School of Education and Sport, the University of Edinburgh.


MBA in European Studies and Regional Cooperation (Hons) - University of Ruse/University of Regensburg, Bulgaria/Germany -   2011 - 2013

MA in American Literature - Khazar University, Azerbaijan - 2010- 2011

BA in the English Language - Azerbaijan University of Languages (Hons), Azerbaijan - 2005 -2009

Current research interests

My research interest includes young children and digital technologies, the impact of digital technologies on a family environment, play and technology, children's learning with technology, and interpretative phenomenology analysis. 

Affiliated research centres

Current project grants

Graduate Collaborative Research Award (GCRA) by Universitas 21. The project "How can interactions with digital media foster refugee families' transition to a new culture: A case study of refugee families in Auckland, New Zealand" . Co-investigator together with Valentina Andries ( Lydia Plowman - Lead Supervisor. University of Edinburgh - Leading Institution, University of Maryland and University of Auckland. 2019 - 2020. Sum awarded $ 4992.

Past project grants

My PhD study is funded by the College Research Award of the University of Edinburgh - £54600
Erasmus Mundus Programme - €20000


Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Literacies, 7 - 8 March, 2019, University of Manchester, Funded for participation - £450

Children's Media, 2 - 4 July, 2019, Volunteer, funded by the conference organizers

Papers delivered

Accepted for 2021. Living journals: Mothers in the role of ethnographer in Azerbaijan, Oxford Ethnography and Education Conference, 2021, Oxford

Living journals: Families interpreting their young children's everyday lives in Azerbaijan, Paper presentation in the AERA annual meeting, 17-21 April, San Fransisco (Funded by the MH graduate school) (the conference postponed due to Covid-19)

Creating living journals for young children in Azerbaijan, Pecha Kucha presentation at the SERA conference, 20 – 22 November, 2019, University of Edinburgh (Funded by the SERA conference support fund).

Using interpretative phenomenology analysis to explore mothers’ approach to their children’s use of digital media in Azerbaijan, Paper presented at the Scottish Educational Research Association (SERA) conference, 20 – 22 November, 2019, University of Edinburgh (Funded by the SERA conference support fund)

Children's daily experiences as shown in their living journals in Azerbaijan, Pecha Kucha Presentation at Interweaving Conference, 10 -11 October, 2019, University of Edinburgh

Affects and Emotions in Research, Poster presented at Interweaving Conference, 10-11 October, 2019, University of Edinburgh

Returning to Azerbaijan as a researcher: the role of affective engagement, Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association (BERA) annual Conference, 10-12 September, 2019, University of Manchester (Funded by BERA bursary scheme) 

Affects and Emotions in Research, Interactive Poster presented at the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) Conference,  2 -7 September, 2019, University of Hamburg (Funded by the MHSES Graduate School)

CollaboratED: Collaborative Learning in a Shared Studio Environment, Poster presentated at the Learning and Teaching Conference, 29 June, 2019, University of Edinburgh


Conference Proceeding: ‘Collaborative Learning in a Shared Studio Environment for Digital Media Design Students’ – Denitsa Petrova, Sabina Savadova and Eli Appleby-Donald. International Conference on design & digital communication, 15 – 16 November, 2019, Barcelos, Portugal