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17 October 2019  


Giselle Eugenia Connell

2.	Giselle Eugenia Connell receiving her NUI Travelling Studentship award from NUI Chancellor, Dr Maurice Manning at the 2017 NUI Awards Ceremony

Giselle Eugenia Connell receiving her NUI Travelling Studentship award from NUI Chancellor, Dr Maurice Manning at the 2017 NUI Awards Ceremony


Giselle Eugenia Connell
was awarded the NUI Travelling Studentship for Social Sciences, in Human Geography (Geopolitics) in 2017, and began her PhD studies in the Durham University Geography Department January 2018. She is a graduate of Maynooth University.


In your experience, what have been the benefits to date of holding an NUI award?

The peer recognition and endorsement for high quality early-career scholarship is what I value most about the NUI Travelling Studentship, and with it, the inclusion into a resourceful interdisciplinary network of NUI Award recipients that act as ambassadors for the Irish research community both nationally and internationally. In addition, the substantial monetary component of the Award which has significantly alleviated all kinds of financial concerns that come with international third level fees as well as hidden costs associated with research activities, cannot be understated!

 

How do you feel the travel component of the NUI Travelling Studentship award will add to your PhD studies?


"The peer recognition and endorsement for
high quality early-career scholarship is what I
value most about the NUI Travelling Studentship,
and with it, the inclusion into a resourceful interdisciplinary network of NUI Award recipients
that act as ambassadors for the Irish research
community both nationally and internationally."

Travelling has always been a substantial component of my research given that dancers travel internationally to perform and dance itself can be considered a form of travel, so this emphasis on movement and mobility always seemed to segue nicely with my research focus. Currently I have only travelled as far as Ireland to take part in the Dublin Dance Festival 2018, but next year I will be undertaking a substantial portion of my fieldwork in South Africa, which will be made possible by the support of the NUI Travelling Studentship as well as international institutional affiliations.

 

What advice would you give to prospective applicants to the NUI Travelling Studentship award competition?

In my own case, geopolitics is not an especially well-developed field in Irish Geography so my advice for applicants would be to consider in what ways being part of an internationally reputable institution in your field best serves your current research needs, as well as that of your future career ambitions. Yet it is also important to consider in what ways your research will be of interest and relevance to the Irish academic community, either directly in terms of its research content, or by enriching and extending the work of NUI researchers and academics in your field.

 

What would you consider to be your major achievements to date?

Since beginning my PhD in January 2018, I have been honing in on my research questions which I have refined through the submission of two substantial pieces of writing. I have also had a book review published in Cultural Geographies, as well as an article on the memory and metaphors of the AIDS Quilt in its final stages of development. Furthermore, I have been afforded with some fantastic opportunities which have included being part of the Durham Geography Department Cultural Review Committee as well as lecturer recruitment panels which have provided me with an insight into the working culture of the university, as well as the departmental hiring process. This summer, I will be giving a paper at the Royal Geographical Society International Conference on ‘Territories of Iranian Screen/Dance’ while also undertaking the most significant first year milestone which comprises of a thesis progression paper and an oral defence of this work for an academic panel other than that of my supervisory committee.

 

In 2018, three NUI Travelling Studentships were offered in the Humanities and Social Sciences
(including Business and Law).