Natalya Fenston

  • Archaeology in “the real world”: a global examination of heritage management practices

This is an incredible opportunity – I would urge all interested students to submit their application forms immediately!

Each scholarship is different, so read them through carefully and understand the nature of the work. Whether it is research, proof-reading, cataloguing, collating data or any other number of tasks, you will need plenty of energy (or perhaps, like me, an obsessive personality), enthusiasm, good organisation and the ability to work independently.

I developed a greater understanding of my own strengths and weaknesses, not only in my research skills, but also in my own wider personal interests. My boss was cheerful, relaxed, encouraging and disciplined – thus creating a friendly atmosphere to work in. However, his field of research was almost completely alien to me! Therefore the regular meetings and large amounts of very thorough background reading helped me to take on the task with very little difficulty.

My assistance was in the role of “data minion”. This meant that it was my responsibility to search out the raw data, which my boss would then use to write his book. Since the data was for the central chapters of the academic monograph, I was suitably awed by his faith in my abilities. As well as conducting my assigned research, I was also given the opportunity to proof-read academic articles before publication and learned a considerable amount about the publishing process.

As well as developing greater skills in academic research, data interpretation and presentation, I also made invaluable contacts amongst the staff and (temporarily) embedded myself in the research community at the university.

I was surprised by how relevant my research was to contemporary political, socio-economic and cultural issues. This not only augmented my understanding of wider issues facing my own area of study, but also gave me insight into how various academic fields interact and topics of research overlap.

To conclude, not only does this scholarship look amazing on your CV, it also strengthens your applicable skills and can broaden your horizons in ways you might not have considered.