Find out how collaboration has helped shape the research of one PhD student from the Department of History at the University of Bristol.
I have been exposed to collaborative projects from early on and had the opportunity to take a small part in some of them, and to learn more about others. I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship from my department that got me involved in one of its primary strands of public engagement activities. I was able to see a range of projects and examples of good practice.
When I wanted to undertake an engagement project as my first postdoctoral project, I was able to use the experiences I’d already gained along with invaluable advice and guidance of those within the department and wider university community.
My current project has multiple strands. It includes a trio of public talks and tours as part of an ‘Open Doors’ weekend; a ‘pop up photo exhibition’ of material from the charity I’m partnered with; and a digitisation project to place a collection of material (diaries, photos, letters) on a digital library platform to make freely accessible to researchers and the public.
Getting involved with this project has given me an opportunity to get to know this research material well. This will feed directly into some academic outputs I am developing as part of this project. I’ve also come across new material, new avenues, and questions to pursue. I am also enjoying the opportunity to communicate my own research with new audiences. It has helped provide additional clarity, and always helped to keep the ‘so what?’ question at the forefront, in terms of relevance of my research. This has been useful on things like grant applications, but also when it comes to writing up the research itself.”