Posted by: Charlotte | February 28, 2011

Postgrad perks

Postgraduate study might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it does have its perks. Flexible working, input on the direction of the research and if you’re lucky, some travel.

The nature of your postgraduate course will influence the amount of travel you will do. You may get to travel to faraway or not-so-faraway places as part of your direct research, or for conferences, workshops, meetings or site visits, providing you with a great chance to learn new skills and also see some of the world.

Doing an engineering doctorate (EngD) gives me the opportunity to travel relatively often. Place it’s taken me so far are the glamorous Cardiff City Hall and Birmingham & Warwick Universities for conferences and the slightly nicer Vienna, Austria and Parma, Italy to visit a site.

Recently I visited one of my collaborators in a small traditional Swiss town. It was interesting to find such an innovative technical company amongst so many farms and who’s office was hidden in the corner of an out-of-town bathroom showroom.

Maybe your supervisor will suggest you attend certain events, if so – fantastic! You might be required to visit sites as part of your research and you could always take a few days off any explore the local area.

But, at the end of the day, it’s really up to you as a postgraduate to go out and find these opportunities. Search for conferences and workshops to attend. If funding is an issue, often the organisers will give travel grants to students in exchange for a short write up after the event. Take the bull by the horns and go for it, who knows where you might end up?!

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