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As well as being a child development researcher, I am also an author and entrepreneur. I apply my knowledge and research to write children’s books with subtle educational twists. Each book contains a type of grammatical structure useful for full acquisition of the language, and especially useful for certain school subjects such as science, maths, history and English. However, it wasn’t until I attended the RisingWISE programme that I started realising my status as an author and entrepreneur! It enabled me to own my accomplishments as more than ‘just a hobby’.

RisingWISE changed my mindset and outlook and as a result I feel stronger and more confident as a woman in science and as an entrepreneur. It made me see the potential a single idea can have and how with the right mindset (and a supportive group of RisingWISE women!) those wistful ideas can turn into exciting opportunities.

Since participating in the programme, I have published my second children’s book! This is the second in a (now) planned series. The planned series came from linking my research into language acquisition and helping children to achieve their potential at school, to the idea of indirect impact: if I could subtly embed certain grammatical structures into children’s storybooks then children would hear, see and read these structures from an early age which would help them to acquire the structures implicitly. The RisingWISE programme allowed me time and built my confidence to pursue this. I have looked more closely at my values and beliefs and have adjusted my life (work and home) to align with those and I therefore feel less in conflict with myself. I have made some amazing friends and contacts, some of which I see regularly for either a life catch-up or for an ‘accountability’ coffee! I understand myself, my capabilities and my options more thanks to the RisingWISE programme. Exciting times ahead!

Dr Julia Badger

Senior Research Associate in the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford.

Children’s author (nom de plume Julia Tedd) of Night-time Cat and Box Cat.

Contacts: Julia.badger@psy.ox.ac.uk ; @JuliaRBadger ; juliatedd.com