Lydia is now completing her Masters and took part in the Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme 2 years ago.
I was awarded an Undergraduate Research Scholarship in my second year which allowed me to undertake a summer research project with Dr David Griffith exploring the post-World War One appetite for war plays. The project introduced me to the diverse content and style of war plays and taught me to consider these plays as essential cultural artefacts of the War generation. The UGRS introduced me to archival research, and during the project I spent many hours researching within theatre archives held at the university’s Cadbury Research Library, as well as at the British Library. Without this I would not have developed an interest in archival research, which proved essential to my final-year assignments and continues to assist me as I work towards my MA. The relationship you develop with your academic lead during the project introduces you to the expectations and challenges of academic research and helps you to feel more comfortable conversing with an academic. The scheme is about more than completing a project. It enables you to develop your academic interests and establish independent research skills which are essential to undertaking a dissertation. Without the UGRS scheme I would not have had the confidence to apply for postgraduate courses, and more importantly I would not have been introduced to the complexities and joys of inter-war theatre. I would encourage anyone who is interested in postgraduate research to consider applying for the UGRS, as for me the experience was invaluable. In fact, I am currently in the process of applying for a PhD at the university and hope to continue researching some of the plays and archives that the UGRS project introduced me to.