Be a wanted specialist!

Do you think of a research/expert career? Would you like to learn more about what it means to research? Meet some of the CES Alumni who are now successfully conducting their doctoral studies and who are willing to share their thoughts about it.

Alex Pomiecko from USA, who is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. If you want to follow her steps, we encourage you to check out the specialization: Central and Eastern European Studies: Research Track at CES which focuses on research management and prepares students to act as experts in the future. See how possible it is!

Alex Who is a researcher/expert? What is the role of researchers/experts today?

A researcher is someone who dedicates him or herself to a particular area of interest and utilizes the tools available to them to the best of their knowledge and capability. The role and uses of a researcher are varied; they can be as limited to a personal interest in a specific subject to a consulting position in a company.

How did you discover you would like to become a researcher?

My decision to pursue a research-based field was based on an early personal, academic interest in history. As I continued my university studies, I took courses related to the field and was able to refine my specific interests. Finally, I began to look at career and professional options related to my interests and narrowed it down to a research-based one. It seemed the best suited for my personality, goals, and work ethic.

What are your research areas of interests? Why did you choose those? How do you work on it?

My research focuses on Central and East European history; specifically, Belarusian and Polish history of partisans and guerrilla groups from 1915 to 1943. I knew for several years that I was interested in history in this particular region. As I continued my university studies, I took opportunities that would allow me to explore options pertaining to this type of study, and it is in this way that I was able to determine whether or not a research-related path was the right one for me. In my specific case, this came about through writing research papers, learning foreign languages, working in various archives, as well as talking to people who were pursuing a research-field in history. Lastly, I thought about a topic and research questions that were lacking in the historiographical field. This allowed me to choose an understudied subject that could hopefully be marketable for the future.

What keeps you motivated from day to day?

Ultimately, it is a strong passion and interest in the topic that motivates me. Furthermore, having a dedicated supervisor and group of peers makes the experience more rewarding and enjoyable.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a researcher/expert? What is the most challenging?

The most rewarding part is that I truly get to learn and work on a topic of my interest. Having the opportunity to be able to research and study something is rewarding in itself. In my case, being able to speak with people who are equally interested in similar topics makes it equally worthwhile, as I can share my ideas and many times, learn from others. That being said, there are, of course, many hurdles in the process that make the research challenging. These can be as minor as bureaucratic difficulties in accessing documents in the archives, to dealing with individuals who do not share your views and can be detrimental to your research development.

What kind of skills should a researcher/ expert develop?

Patience, dedication, motivation, and openness are equally important and vital to a researcher. These usually come automatically if someone is truly interested in what they want to study. There are, of course, minor skills that are more tailored to each research project; for example language skills, computer/technological skills, etc. Being able to work both with people and individually is another asset.

What is your advice for students who want to become a researcher/ expert?

I would recommend being flexible with your interests and research pursuits. Taking the time to think about a topic is vital, as in most cases it is something you will be working on for many years to come. Rushing into a project may prove to be weary and not enjoyable. This can be remedied by talking to people in these respective fields or university departments, who are working on issues you are interested in. Furthermore, while the research process itself is narrow and quite subject-specific, will the outcome of your research provide you with opportunities in the future?

Thank you Aleks!

be a wanted specialist

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Be a wanted specialist!

Do you think of a research/expert career? Would you like to learn more about what it means to research? With this new series of articles you will have an opportunity to meet some of the CES Alumni who are now successfully conducting their doctoral studies and who are willing to share their thoughts about it. Adrian Favero from Switzerland, who is a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh will be the first to do it. If you want to follow his steps, we encourage you to check out the specialization: Central and Eastern European Studies: Research Track at CES which focuses on research management and prepares students to act as experts in the future. See how possible it is!

Adrian AWho is a researcher/expert? What is the role of researchers/experts today?

Personally, I would describe a researcher/expert as someone who spends a lot of time reading and analysing a certain topic of interest. Through learning and experience, the researcher obtains intellectual and academic capacities, such as to think critically and the ability to convert information into high-quality written work.

How did you discover you would like to become a researcher?

During my research for my MA thesis, I realised that I enjoyed gathering and organising information and to analyse the data with statistical methods to explain the observed phenomenon. I also liked the process of writing and finding a way to state my arguments in a manner that made them comprehensible for the readers. Moreover, I want to gain more knowledge in the area of my personal interest and I would like to convey this knowledge to students, once I have completed my studies.

What are your research areas of interests? Why did you choose those? How do you work on it? What keeps you motivated from day to day?

Generally, I focus in my research on European Union politics. More specifically, I examine identity related opinions and behaviour towards the EU. Growing up in Switzerland, a country where anything related to the EU is debated controversially, made me want to learn more about the relationships between place-based identities and the view on the EU. Currently, I am at the stage within my PhD where I read books and increase my knowledge about the topic. I also meet with my supervisors regularly to discuss my findings. In my opinion, the key to being motivated is, to be interested in the topic.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a researcher/expert? What is the most challenging?

 I think the reward of doing a PhD is first and foremost intrinsic. I would like to think of my work as being interesting and maybe meaningful one day. I am free in how I accomplish my work and I believe in the approach that I am taking. I feel satisfied when I learn something new and discover a new angle to my investigations. Another aspect is, to meet new people from all over the world who share the same interests. The interactions and discussions with them are very interesting and fruitful.

One of the biggest challenges is the self-management of the studies. Doing a PhD requires a high degree of self-motivation and self-structuring. It is easy to lose track since nobody forces the researcher to so something. It’s on them to make progress.

What kind of skills should a researcher/ expert develop?

A researcher should develop the ability to think critically, analyse carefully and to work to high standards.

What is your advice for students who want to become a researcher/ expert?

You should like to read and to study. You should be able to work independently and enjoy being part of the academic environment.

Thank you Adrian!

be a wanted specialist

Language-based Area Studies

ESRC Scottish Doctoral Training Centre

Available Scholarships – Application deadline is 30 March 2012

The call for high quality applications for the academic session 2012/13 is now open.

CRCEES is particularly keen for high quality applicants in the field of post-Enlargement studies. This links into the wider research initiatives of  the centre through the joint UACES/CRCEES sponsored Assessing Accession network.

CRCEES is part of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science which is a unique collaboration between universities in Scotland to make available outstanding research training to doctoral students in the social sciences.

At the heart of the Graduate School is the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) in Scotland. Established in 2011 as the biggest in the ESRC’s UK-wide network of training centres, the Scottish DTC offers ESRC-accredited training in 24 different training pathways. Each pathway involves collaboration across a number of Scottish universities to make sure the best expertise gets to the right students.

One of these pathways, the Language-based Area Studies (LBAS) pathway, is based on new, shared training provision between the two Scotland-based LBAS Centres of Excellence (Centre for Russian, Central and East European Studies (CRCEES) and Centre for Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW)).

ESRC-funded PhD studentships in Language-based Area Studies in the field of Russian, Central and East European Studies are available at the University of Glasgow through CRCEES. These annual scholarships are offered on the following models depending upon your prior qualifications:

  • 2+3 years – Master of Research (MRes) in Russian, Central and East European Studies + intensive language training to advanced level + PhD
  • 1+3 years – Master of Research (MRes) in Russian, Central and East European Studies or intensive language training to advanced level + PhD
  • +3 years – PhD study

For CRCEES Applications, how to apply: http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/postgraduateresearch/researchcouncilsukrcuk/esrc/howtoapply/

DTC Submission Contact: Ms Leeann Stevenson, Leeann.Stevenson@glasgow.ac.uk

For further information please contact:

Professor Richard Berry, CRCEES Director, Richard.Berry@Glasgow.ac.uk or Ann Mulholland
CRCEES Administrator Ann.Mulholland@glasgow.ac.uk

More Ph D. scholarships!

Doctoral and post-doctoral positions in social and political science at Tallinn University

Founded in 1995, Tallinn University Institute of Political Science and Governance focuses on four main areas of research:

  • Political Science
  • Governance
  • International Relations and European Studies
  • Economics (public economics, business and entrepreneurship)

With the goal of further expand the institute and its research potential the University is now seeking to recruit two doctoral and two post-doctoral fellows from any area of political science, sociology or related subjects. Preferences will go to candidates with a geographical focus on the former USSR republics.

http://www.studyinestonia.ee/

Ph D. Scholarship!

The Baltic and East European Graduate School (BEEGS)

Call for applications for admission to doctoral studentships 2012

Applications for a total of 14 doctoral studentships are invited in cooperation with the following research areas and subjects:

•Critical Cultural Theory: Aesthetics, Gender Studies, Media and Communication Studies and Philosophy •Environmental Studies •Rhetoric (in cooperation with Uppsala University)

To apply: Please see the following links: www.sh.se/vacantpositions (for an English version)

The deadline for applications is 1 March 2012.

US Embassy Policy Specialist Program

Very cool opportunity for all you policy specialists!
“The U.S. Embassy Policy Specialist Program provides funding for U.S. scholars and professionals to travel to Eurasia and serve U.S. Embassies or USAID Missions as policy specialists on a research topic proposed by the Embassy/Mission. Researchers are able to directly contribute to the formation of U.S. public policy by conducting research on topics vital to the policy-making community, as well as increase their understanding of current regional issues and develop and sustain international networks. The fellowship provisions include: logistical support, international airfare, visa support, in-country housing and workspace, a living expenses stipend and emergency evacuation insurance.”
Get the EPS Application here.

College of Europe Scholarships

The College of Europe in Natolin (Warsaw) has announced the Bronislaw Geremek Scholarship Fund, which offers ten scholarships to history graduates wishing to pursue the European Studies program in 2012-2013. All interested may apply online and send a completed application to the Admissions Office of the College of Europe in Bruges. Application deadline is January 15, 2012. See website for more details,  College of Europe – Geremek Scholarship .