Third year History of Art and Museums Studies undergraduate student, Carys Wilkins, talks about being a Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholar and her summer research placement at the V&A Museum London.
‘I would really recommend applying for the Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership scholarship as it is open to all undergraduates in the faculty. It gives the opportunity to work with academics in your department on live projects and an opportunity to experience academic research – important preparation for dissertation writing!
‘I was able to develop my own research project which I have organised through the V&A and I’m currently based in the Theatre and Performance department there undertaking visitor research on the David Bowie Is exhibition. This is part of my work for my undergraduate research and leadership scholarship in ‘Transforming Cultural Heritage’ from the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies.
‘My research focuses on the notion of the Blockbuster exhibition, exploring the relationship between exhibition design and visitor experience, using the Bowie exhibition as my case study. This kind of research experience is not usually available to undergraduates and most would not have such an opportunity prior to postgraduate or even post doctoral study so I feel it is a genuine enhancement to my university experience.
‘The scholarship has also given me the confidence to apply for other opportunities and I was offered an internship to work as an event assistant for Dr. Mark Westgarth (director of the BA History of Art with Museum Studies programme) on his ‘Museum Studies Now’ project which gave me the chance to meet a range of academics, professionals and other students working within my discipline.
‘I am planning to apply for postgraduate study in Social Anthropology and would be interested in pursuing academic research further. Ultimately I would like to work in exhibitions design/management and pursue other opportunities in the heritage sector.’