“In April 2016, I presented a poster at the Spring 2016 AEA Conference in Orkney. It was my first professional conference and, with the help of a ScARF bursary, I was able to present the beginning stages of my MSc dissertation research and receive helpful and supportive feedback from professionals in my field.
Over a year later, I once again was able to attend the AEA Conference 2017, this time in Edinburgh, again with the support of ScARF. At this point, I’m a PhD student, with a bit more confidence and experience under my belt. For this conference, I presented a poster showcasing my completed MSc research. It felt fulfilling to be able to return with my finished research, and with a newfound confidence that I sorely lacked the first time around.
One of the biggest differences in my attendance this year was my focus – whereas last year I felt a bit lost among such seasoned professionals, this year I had a newfound confidence that helped me make new friends and connections among my environmental archaeology colleagues. The outstanding research that was presented at the conference really inspired me to conquer my own “grand challenges” as a young academic, especially knowing that there was a large and supportive community in the AEA available to help me at every step. In this regard, I must specifically show my appreciation for the several presentations given on practical matters, such as new research frameworks and funding schemes – these are extremely useful for someone who is still learning the ropes of the academic’s lifestyle!
As always, I am very grateful to the AEA and ScARF for making conferences accessible to those of us who are still trying to find our place in the archaeological community. Thank you for the opportunity to present at this year’s AEA Autumn Conference and for all the support you give young academics.”
Alexandra Fitzpatrick FSA Scot
University of Bradford (if you wish to get in touch with Alexandra, please email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Help us: champion research; stimulate discussion; enhance public understanding; and share our extraordinary heritage. Donate directly to the Society now.