PhD History of Art student, Cosmin Minea, is researching architecture and heritage in modern Romania. He tells us more about what his experience as a researcher at the University of Birmingham.
Why did you choose to study a PhD in History of Art?
“While traveling throughout Europe with my family, I fell in love with the wonderful artistic heritage of the Continent, from old monuments or buildings to smaller decorative objects exhibited in museums. I wanted to learn more than what was in touristic guides about historical sites and art objects. My passion for history of art only grew after my BA and MA studies, so I decided to truly become an expert in this field by pursuing a PhD in Art History.”
Why did you choose to undertake research at the University of Birmingham?
“I knew at the University of Birmingham I will be supervised by a leading authority in my field and that I will be part of a world-leading research university. I have also been offered funding for my PhD studies, which further made University of Birmingham the perfect study place.”
What are the best things about your course?
“The best thing about my course is the amount of support available to develop various skills as a researcher, academic or for a future career in creative industries. The Department, Graduate School and Careers Office, as well as many national organisations and foundations, offer a multitude of support services that complement the work you do individually. During my program, I also had the opportunity to teach undergraduate students which represented an invaluable experience to plan and deliver a seminar in my broad area of specialisation.”
What is life like as a researcher at the University of Birmingham?
“It is an intense time of writing, gathering primary materials, studying sources and data, attending workshops, events, conferences, teaching, building skills, applying for various jobs. It is also a very rewarding time during which you meet wonderful people, have extremely nice dinners, travel, and get the chance to spread your knowledge to various people and in various contexts.”
What support have you received during your PhD?
“I have attended workshops and skills sessions for academic writing, public speaking, data management, public policy briefs, creative writing, managing work/life balance, writing job applications and CVs. I had also access to my own dedicated desk, a fully-equipped research library, supervision in my field from staff from more than one university and a supportive network of fellow PGRs.”
Outside of your research, what experience have you gained and how will it help you in the future?
“The PhD program at the University of Birmingham stresses the need to develop transferable skills that will help you succeed in a variety of fields, not just strictly in Academia. I have learned how to interact, speak to and teach people from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. I have learned how to plan and deliver a public presentation and seminars for undergraduate students. I also gained experience in time management, prioritising my workload, multitasking and concise communication in speaking and writing.”
Find out more studying for a PhD in History of Art over on our course pages.