David Meredith

David Meredith is a Senior Research Officer at the Teagasc Rural Economy Development Programme, with responsibility for rural development research. He graduated from Maynooth University in 2012 with a PhD in Geography.

My work involves a range of research related activities including tendering for research funding, managing projects, attending national and international meetings with rural policy stakeholders, participating in conferences and supervising undergraduate, graduate students and post-doctoral researchers. In addition to this work, I have a personal research programme which covers a number of areas including rural economic development, population change and health and safety issues affecting farmers. All these activities are informed by my experience and what I learned whilst undertaking my PhD, which focused on evaluating the contemporary spatial structure of the economy in Ireland through an analysis of travel-to-work data published by the Central Statistics Office, whether it was the administrative and communication skills that you develop along the way or analytical approaches. In the recent past I worked as the Head of Research for the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas (CEDRA) where I was given the opportunity to take large parts of what I learnt during my PhD and use it to contribute to the creation of an economic strategy to guide the future development of Ireland’s rural areas.
The challenges associated with juggling so many different responsibilities is one that you learn throughout your time in university and particularly when undertaking a PhD. I have found that multitasking, a very common feature of all types of jobs these days which increasingly demand responsiveness to changing business needs, is more of an art than a science, i.e. there is not one way of doing it, you have to find what works for you which takes time – the time and space that doing a PhD affords.