STAR 1, 2016
The Scottish Training in Anthropological Research (STAR) pre-field training event for first-year PhD students was particularly successful this year in terms of integrating graduate students and faculty in an ambitious and interactive learning environment focusing on research methods in social anthropology. Building on the longstanding tradition of bringing together research students in social anthropology and related fields from across Scotland, the event was particularly successful in cohort building within and across university campuses. Many students commented on their positive experiences in meeting students from other universities as well as the usefulness of the specific training workshops held throughout the week. Overall, participation in student-led workshops was excellent, including a superb session on alternative means of data collection and communication. We also had a number of successful staff-led workshops on topics ranging from how to make audio-visual recordings, writing fieldwork notes, to taking care of oneself during fieldwork. Our guest “STAR” speaker, Frances Pine, was particularly active in working with and discussing his research experiences with students throughout the week. We also incorporated a few changes per last year’s suggestions. We provided students with more advance guidance on what the event would be like beyond the week’s agenda, and a longer wellness/self-care in fieldwork session.