PhD History student Yasmin Vetter is researching the Reformation in Elizabethan England. We find out more about her experience as a researcher at the University of Birmingham.
Why did you choose to study a PhD in History?
“I did choose to study a PhD in History because I was always fascinated by the Reformation and its many different aspects. My PhD project allows me like no other project before to completely make it my own, work interdisciplinary, to be creative and to do what I love the most.”
Why did you choose to undertake research at the University of Birmingham?
“It was two things that made me choose Birmingham, first my supervisors. It is important to find a supervisor with which you have the feeling that you can work well together. The second reason was the Centre for Reformation and Early Modern Studies (CREMS). I was looking for a university that would give me support and a good research environment for my project.”
What are the best things about your course?
“I love doing a PhD because it allows me to dig deep into my research. Also, my supervisors are wonderful and give me a great deal of support. The same can be said about my fellow PhD friends. I think we have a great research community here. We help each other out and care for each other.”
What is life like as a researcher at the University of Birmingham?
“Being a researcher at the University of Birmingham means that between many hours of independent working on your project you will have many tea-breaks with your friends and colleagues. I personally get my best ideas through talking about them with my peers over a cup of good tea or some chips at the Bratby Bar. Also, there is always something going on here: Research seminars, research skills courses, society meetings or some social events at Westmere House. Especially great are PG Lunch events that usually provide a free lunch along with some interesting talks.”
What support have you received during your PhD?
“Especially at the beginning of my PhD I was very thankful for the mentoring and buddy scheme. My mentors helped me to find my way around and to find answers to some questions I had. I also have received much support from my supervisors and my peers. Besides, the university has a lot of places that one could get support from, such as the welfare tutors, the library skills courses, the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS), the careers network or Westmere House.”
Outside of your research, what experience have you gained and how will it help you in the future?
“I have worked for the university as student ambassador and student experience ambassador. I’ve also been a co-founder of a student study group in the School of History and Cultures and co-student rep for the 1st year PhDs. The experiences I made through these activities helped me to gain skills in event promoting, marketing and project managing. All those skills are helpful for future projects and for my PhD project.”
Find out more studying for a PhD in History over on our course pages.