In our third knowledge sharing session of the year, one of the PhD students in our research group shared his experiences in being a visiting PhD scholar for 3 months.
Before the Stay
- The first step in planning for a research stay to identify the purpose of the visit and what it should achieve. In his case, his purpose was to consult with experts in his particular topic and widen his literature review.
- He identified a number of universities and research centres in Europe where he could apply to visit and contacted each one.
- The application consisted of an email with an application letter, a letter of support from the PhD supervisor, a proposed workplan for the visit as well a CV.
- He finally received a letter of acceptance from an institute in Switzerland. He used this acceptance letter to apply for funding from our university for the research visit.
- Once the request for funding has been accepted, he needed to organise the logistics of his visit: airfare and a room to rent for the duration of the stay. Other logistics may include visas, health insurance, etc.
During the Stay
- An important character trait for the PhD student during the stay is patience when things to do not work out as planned and some flexibility is required.
- Work with the local host/team to identify proposals for the research visit and agree on the deliverables to achieve.
- Schedule regular meetings with the local research group and look for opportunities to present your work more widely and get involved with related department activities.
After the Stay
- Present your deliverables to the research group once you have returned.
- Keep in contact with the research stay contacts and look for opportunities to work together (co-publishing, sharing databases)