Accounting & Finance (PhD) Pawel Czarnowski
After completing our Masters in Economics & Finance, Pawel decided to continue his studies with a PhD in Accounting & Finance. Here he tells us about his research experience so far...
What were you doing before your PhD?
I have previously worked at an intellectual property valuation firm in Glasgow where I first got interested in studying innovation. Shortly after, I decided to pursue a Masters in Economics & Finance at Strathclyde, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I had an amazing time at the University. I learnt a lot and met plenty of wonderful people, which made me want to stay at the University for just a little bit longer. I also wanted to delve deeper into the topic of corporate innovation and the opportunity to do a PhD sounded perfect.
Why did you choose Strathclyde for your postgraduate research study?
One of my main criteria for choosing a PhD program was academic excellence and the Department of Accounting & Finance at Strathclyde is among the top in the UK. I was impressed by many of the faculty members during my studies at Strathclyde and I wanted to work in the same place as them. Also, one of my favourite things about the department is the variety of research databases that we have access to. I was thrilled to have access to Bloomberg, Compustat, CRSP, Refinitiv, and RepRisk, among others. The amount of support that is at your disposal at the department really helps push your research to the top level.
Tell us about the nature of your research?
My research is largely empirical, and I work with very large datasets. I am interested in the value of innovation to companies. I want to know what factors make innovation more valuable to firms. In particular, I study innovation that is disclosed in patent documents. I am particularly interested in the role that patent attorneys play in the process of obtaining a patent from the patent office and how that affects the value of the patent. Also, green innovation is the key to fighting climate change, which motivates me to study the value of green patents to companies.
What do you like about your research area?
Innovation is a very exciting area to work in because, by definition, it is concerned with new discoveries. Also, innovation is a key driver of economic growth and companies that fail to innovate often go out of business. This is what makes studying the reasons why some innovations succeed very appealing to me. Also, there is a plethora of patent data that is available to researchers, in the US in particular, with millions of different patents that can be studied.
What’s the Strathclyde research community like?
One of my favourite things about the research community at Strathclyde is how inclusive it is. Firstly, the PhD students have a wonderful and spacious working space in which they can interact with other young researchers, learn from, and support one another. Second, the research community is fostered by the regular Research Seminars organized by the Department of Accounting & Finance. The seminar presenters come from universities all over the world and are often world leading academics in accounting and finance. It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to interact with them during the seminars. Also, it is often possible to request a one-on-one meeting with a seminar speaker to have a more detailed discussion. I have met many interesting academics this way, and I am very grateful for the opportunity.
What are the Strathclyde facilities like?
Strathclyde has some of the best facilities in Scotland. The University has very recently completed the construction of a brand new £60 million Learning & Teaching Building, which is a marvellous place to work and to socialize. Similarly, Strathclyde has recently opened a new £31m sports centre, Strathclyde Sport. Right next to the sports centre is an enormous Strathclyde library building which is very well-equipped and offers plenty of room for studying and working. These are just a few buildings which Strathclyde has on offer. All of them are located near to each other, at the heart of Glasgow.
Tell us about the support from your supervisor and the wider Strathclyde team?
I have received wonderful guidance from both of my supervisors, who have gone above and beyond to support me in my PhD. They have offered me great help in all aspects of my PhD, and I am very grateful for that. I feel that I can always rely on them.
What's the best thing about Strathclyde?
It is hard to list one single thing that is the best about Strathclyde. However, if I were to put it in one sentence, I would say that Strathclyde feels like home. It is very safe and welcoming and offers plenty of support and resources that help you make the best out of your time here. Also, since Strathclyde is located at the heart of Glasgow, it is convenient to travel to.
What advice would you give to prospective postgraduate research students?
There is little advice that I could give which is not already out there. I would definitely recommend the presentation by Lasse Heje Pedersen titled ‘How to Succeed in Academia’, which contains plenty of great advice for PhD students.