The Hunterian Associates Programme: What I Have Learned

Published on: Author: Harriet Gaston Leave a comment

A student post from Charlotte Orr, PhD candidate in Medical Humanities at the University of Glasgow.

Participating in bespoke training; embarking on research related to (and completely unrelated to!) my PhD; engaging diverse audiences at prestigious public events: these are a few features of The Hunterian Associates Programme (HAP) that convinced me to apply. Building friendships with fellow associates; learning the intricacies of events management at the oldest museum in Scotland; and being interviewed about my project on BBC Radio Scotland are just some of the additional perks I’ve also been lucky to experience during my project.

My project brings attention to the malaria work of Nobel-Prize-winning scientific researcher Dr Sir Ronald Ross (1857-1932). More specifically, I’m examining Ross’s Edwardian malaria guidebook for young professionals heading to tropical outposts of the British Empire. This research, unlike any I had conducted before, was to be used solely for the purposes of public engagement. Since public engagement was new to me, HAP training was invaluable. I attended workshops on writing for public engagement, digital media, and on public speaking. During these workshops all associates faced questions like:

  • Why does my research matter to me?
  • What is my target audience?
  • What about my research matters to my audience?
  • In what innovative ways will I present my research?

I began research with these questions at the forefront of my mind. Eager not to fall into well-formed habits of English Literature thesis writing, I nervously delved into the world of creative writing with my blog. I also presented at multiple events at The Hunterian, from Explorathon to Science Sunday. Making my research accessible to all age ranges and all levels of interest was initially a daunting experience, but I have found it so worthwhile on both a personal and professional level. My self-confidence, my research abilities, and my adaptability have consistently improved during the course of the project.

Soon all associates will be coming together to take part the biggest event in our calendar: The Hunterian Associates Showcase on 14 November. Having had a sneak preview into what my fellow Associates are planning, I can promise you a thought-provoking night of research aimed to delight and intrigue! We look forward to seeing you there.

Twitter Handle: Charlotte_0

Listen to BBC Radio Scotland Interview

Book tickets to The Hunterian Associates Showcase 2018


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