Experiences of the ‘Visiting Doctoral Researcher’ Scheme

Elyse Jamieson is a second year PhD student in Linguistics & English Language at the University of Edinburgh, funded by SGSAH. Their research interests are primarily in dialect syntax and semantics, with a focus on data from Scots dialects. For more information, see their website or find them on Twitter.

I have just returned from a two-month stay in Germany, funded through the SGSAH Visiting Doctoral Researcher scheme. I was based at Universität Konstanz, situated on Lake Constance in the very south of Germany. In my PhD I look at questions in Scots dialects, and I had arranged to visit due to their research programme investigating Questions at the Interfaces.

ice skating

When I arrived in January, it was still snowing and the people I was staying with took me ice skating on the frozen lake

Being in Konstanz was a brilliant experience. From day one, I was made to feel welcome by my host supervisor and the rest of the department. Each week, I attended advanced semantics seminars, a departmental colloquium talk and multiple reading groups. I also presented some of my own work to one of these groups and received valuable feedback. As well as all this, I ran a short experiment, got some data analysis done, and found quiet time to just write – not quite sure how, but I guess a change of environment (complete with fewer other responsibilities!) is always good.


A rare sunny day by the Rhine.

In the final week of my trip, I took the bus from Konstanz up to Saarbrücken for the annual conference of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft, where I presented some of the results of the data collection I carried out in Glasgow at the end of last year. DGfS is a huge conference, and it was a particularly good opportunity to network and make connections.

I’ve made it sound like it was all work and no play – but I did also manage to squeeze in two weekend breaks, to Zürich and Munich. With the buses being so cheap, how could I resist?!


Zürich, and a much more representative picture of the weather

I would highly recommend the Visiting Doctoral Researcher scheme, especially to those whose work maybe doesn’t fit quite so well with any of the SGSAH internships or residencies. I was able to spend quality time learning, focusing on my own research, and getting important feedback from scholars outside my institution. If you get the chance – definitely do it!

Thanks so much to Elyse for sharing their experiences in Konstanz. If you are interested in applying for the Visiting Doctoral Research scheme, find out more here.

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