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SIPR Postgraduate Network

Projects | Thematic Networks

Our student coordinators play a vital role in ensuring that SIPR activities are student-led where possible and supporting our mission to nurture the next generation of policing researchers.


Current Postgraduate Co-Ordinators 

Oana Petcu – PhD Candidate, University of Glasgow.

“Oana is a doctoral student in Criminology at the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on drug markets and new technology in Scotland. In particular, her interest lies with how technology is adopted in drug practices in both urban and rural areas across Scotland. Oana has previously worked on projects on missing people, human trafficking, sex work, financial crimes, and mental health. In recent years there have been significant changes in global drug markets, driven by the development of new technologies. In Scotland, these changes have manifested through an increase in illegal drugs entering the market and the expansion of drug markets into rural areas. Although we have made significant developments towards understanding this phenomenon, little is known about the localised changes and what new challenges and harms these may bring. My doctoral research aims to bridge this knowledge gap by assessing how online drug markets co-exist with more traditional forms of drug practices in both urban and rural areas of Scotland.”


Sam Conway, PhD Candidate, Abertay University.

“I am a Psychology PhD student at Abertay University in Dundee. I started my PhD in June 2021. My research focuses on how the use of novel technologies (such as avatars) might assist forensic interviewers with eliciting disclosure and episodic memory from children. In 2019, I graduated with a BSc in Psychology from Abertay University. In 2020, I graduated with an MSc in Forensic Psychology from Glasgow Caledonian University.  My research interests are in applied memory research and investigative interviewing. I am particularly interested in which factors improve witness memory and which factors may facilitate greater witness disclosure. I am also interested in missing persons’ research and how we can apply this knowledge to police practice. As one of the SIPR postgraduate coordinators, I am looking forward to networking with other PGR students and helping create a sense of community.”

Previous Postgraduate Co-Ordinators


Larissa Engelmann – PhD Candidate, Edinburgh Napier University.

“Speaking from my own experience, being part of and supporting the SIPR PGR community has been invaluable in my journey as a PhD student. Whilst the number of PhD students in Scotland looking at policing is growing; they continue to be spread across the country. Having this community to rely on, ask questions and grow with, really helped me with my research, my personal and professional development and with the networks I was able to build in the field of policing and beyond. I know that the skills I have developed and the connections I have made through SIPR have helped me to get to where I am today, working on a fantastic project at the University of Leeds under Professor Adam Crawford, whilst continuing my work in Scotland and with SIPR. I would like to take the opportunity to thank SIPR for their support throughout this journey. In particular, Monica Craig, who has been an amazing colleague and friend to work with, and Professor Liz Aston, who continues to be a mentor and role model for me in the way she develops her own career whilst always being there for others and looking at ways to advance their careers. Thank you also to Simon, my partner in crime over the last two years, it has been a pleasure to grow the SIPR PGR community to what it is today with you. Lastly, a massive thanks to all the SIPR postgraduate research students I was lucky enough to meet and befriend. If I have learned one thing during my PhD, if you want to make it in academia, you need a support network and you need friends. You were that for me.”


Simon-Lewis Menzies – PhD Candidate, Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science, University of Dundee.

“Being a part of SIPR continues to be a massive delight for me and has really highlighted the importance of having and networking with postgraduate friends – we support each other and that is vital. In my time as a postgraduate co-ordinator, there has been one person that has consistently amazed me with her drive, determination, and dedication to enhancing the student experience at SIPR – Larissa. For as long as I have known Larissa, she has been a tireless champion of her fellow students, a great and true friend, and a never-ending source of support, humour, and encouragement. Being SIPR student co-ordinators gave us both the chance to reconnect after both studying together on the MSc Applied Criminology and Forensic Psychology course at Edinburgh Napier University. Larissa has given her heart and soul to helping SIPR grown since its inception and it was a great pleasure to work with her as the first SIPR postgraduate co-ordinators and I know I speak for all of us when I say we wish her every success in her new career, every congratulation for passing her viva, and we will miss her deeply! It’s not goodbye, but until next time! In the meantime, I look forward to handing over to the two new Postgraduate Co-Ordinators, Oana Petcu and Sam Conway! “

Our student coordinators work closely with the SIPR leadership Team to shape the future of the student network through engagement with the postgraduate community and the development of key postgraduate activities including:

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