Our students undertake professional placements with substantial impact in a variety of fields.

Pest partners

During 2020-21, one of our SWWDTP-funded researchers undertook a placement with South West Museum Development (SWMD) to further their employability post-PhD.

The aim of the placement was to provide the student with a range of professional experience while supporting the SWMD develop pest management practices. Thus, our student gained video production skills; direct experience of collections maintenance; and an increased professional network of curatorial staff.

In return, the partner organisation was able to produce industry guidance for local museums with limited resources on best practice in developing appropriate pest management plans.

This will save these organisations time and money in the future. The data collected is also being used now in other entomological and climatic studies.

Curating corvid collections

During 2021-22, two of our SWWDTP-funded researchers undertook placements with Historic England to support their research activities and improve Historic England’s records.

During their placements, our students were trained in recording avian skeletons and distinguishing corvid species, skills essential to their respective dissertation projects. They also added nearly 1000 records, many with enhanced data, to Historic England’s reference collection database.

This has allowed Historic England to establish a strategic collection strategy, improve their ability to respond to external requests quickly, and identify future research projects. The database’s world-wide users can now determine remotely whether specimens will be will appropriate for their needs.

Latest perspective on site-specific curatorial practices

During 2022, one of our SWWDTP-funded researchers undertook a placement with INSITE, a Mexican initiative dedicated to the production of artworks in the public sphere through collaboration between practitioners, organisations and communities.

As a scholar-curator, our student immersed themselves in INSITE’s current initiative, organising reproduction rights and producing a number of essays that document the project’s development and form part of the arising publication.

From these activities, our student gained direct knowledge of the latest perspectives in site-specific art conceptualisation, production, mediation, and dissemination. These inform both the student’s own curatorial practice as well as their practice-based dissertation.

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