A UNE Archaeology Society Guide to Academic Funding

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A UNE Archaeology Society Guide to Academic Funding

A UNE Archaeology Society Guide to: Academic Funding What academic funding have UNE Archaeology students recieved and where did they recieve it from? So the funding that I received was a grant from the Australian government which is used to help students who are planning on studying overseas and who have that kind of overseas portion of their study as a compulsory part of their degree so it’s called the OS help loan the one that I received I took the full amount which is I believe six thousand seven hundred and that can be taken twice at different points during your undergraduate degree So the basis of the funding was for transport to and from Cyprus which was about two thousand dollars and then the rest was meals, accommodation was about two thousand, equipment so any kind of stuff that I needed in the field, field clothing, books resources to help me with writing the report later and just kind of general you know traveling expenses I suppose travel insurance etc I think that I got a better knowledge of kind of the environment of Cyprus because when I first arrived we’d only looked at the original site but actually having some extra money and not being so constrained by the budget allowed me to be able to go and visit the archaeological park which of course cost money and go and actually see the scale of some of the similar sites that were in the area as well as just kind of being able to be a bit more engaged with the community that was there like I got to go out for dinner every night with other people in the group and with other people from the Sydney team and it kind of gave you a bit more engagement with the people you’re working with and I think that that would have been harder if I didn’t have some extra money behind me and was really scrimping As an undergrad I received most of my funding so I was supported through Commonwealth funding through settling so as an undergrad I stayed at college and so I received Austudy as a student I also received rent assistance those two on their own were what paid for me to stay at college, that covered my college expenses then I was also eligible because I had to moved away from home from rural area to come to University in Armidale I was able to then apply for two Commonwealth scholarships which were offered every year one was from the for being from the rural and remote area and the other one was because I had to move away from home to attend university and each of those scholarships worth about $2,000 each so each year I’ve got $4,000 The moment the main funding source I’ve got is from UNE it’s the UNE RA international student stipend and scholarship and I applied for that directly from UNE a was successful in my application the scholarship is specifically for doing PhD research it covers me for three years it involves all of my fees being waived a stipend to live on and as well as that it includes oversea student health cover as it’s a requirement for all international students Australia to have their own private health insurance When I was an undergrad I got the Archaeology and Paleoanthropology Southeast Asia and the Pacific Archaeology Fieldwork Prize that was five hundred dollars to help me go to Indonesia and do some volunteer archaeology work there on Flores then the Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists inc. student support fund that was to help me with my honours which involved research with Indonesia artifacts as well there’s the Frederick G White bursary for rural women that’s available to all rural women who can demonstrate financial hardship I also applied for the Mary Dylan Memorial Memorial traveling scholarship and I didn’t get it because of some paperwork issues so I got the deputy vice-chancellor research a research discretionary fund scholarship instead of that again to help me do more research in Indonesia the Sultan of Oman bursary, that was not exactly archaeology, that helped me go to Europe and sailing Tall Ships races this and then because of that sail on a Viking ship and I guess you could call that experimental archaeology and then I did exchange in Indonesia and I got two scholarships through the New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant which is a government initiative to support student relations and development in Southeast Asia or Asia in general maybe

So in co-authorship with professor Lloyd Weeks we received two small research grants for the study of historic metal samples as a part of my PhD project and these funds come from ANSTO Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization to use their equipment this money covers the use of instruments the for study of these samples so because this is new equipment and this is associated with significant costs for its use and for its maintenance so this money primarily covers the use of this equipment and also covers the living costs the accommodation costs for me when when I’m performing this experiment in Sydney it’s all about the application of a new analytical technique for the study of interesting samples and in archaeology almost every sample is interesting so this is very beneficial for archaeology to use such facilities and it provides a new example of application of these techniques which are from mostly material science techniques for the Archaeametrical objectives which is I think appreciated by the people who run this extensive facilities and this is why the possibility to perform such experience are feasible Where is the best place to start looking for funding? While we’re looking for funding I would start with, if you’re already at university I would start with my university and I would go into the research office and I would ask if there is an online portal that they have that lists some of the grants that are available so most universities will at least have a link on their research website to grants that are available but those grants and scholarships may be more research-based they mean more at the graduate level but I would start with them and then I would contact my local council and find out if there were any community grants for which you could apply I’d also look online and I just start googling I would talk to others that may have received those grants the students that I’ve see that have had success at the undergraduate level are with local in your backyard scholarships look at all the community groups in your town most of them offer some type of aid that they do some sort of philanthropic work so see if you qualify for that start with your council With Dr. Google at our fingertips I mean it’s so much easier now than it used to be for instance when this student got the funding from the Masons I think she just cold called them you know nowadays maybe that would still work but now with Dr. Google out there there’s really no impediment to researching all this or even just getting emails of the local Rotary Club president and saying do you have any money for me can’t hurt may or may not work it just depends on what the how the particular organization is giving back to the community I was actively looking I was in a job at UCL Institute of Archaeology in the UK on a set two-year contract that contract was coming to an end with no chance of renewal so I was looking at that point to see okay I’m ready to start doing my PhD what’s out there so at one point I was looking at doing a Roman projects in the UK I knew that I didn’t want to continue in the same vein of research that I’ve currently been doing I fancied it a bit of variety I actually found the advertisement for this position on the British Archaeological Jobs Resource website which normally just advertises commercial jobs in the UK occasionally academic jobs but occasionally as well they also creep up with international things and it was advertised there as a scholarship funded PhD to come to Armidale and study in Angkorian Cambodia Initially probably word-of-mouth from my lecturers and other students then I went online and check the UNE website they’ve got a whole page full of all the different scholarships you can apply for a lot of them and not relevant to archaeology students they are very specific to agriculture or something like that but there are a couple in there that are specific to archaeology students or like the rural women’s one that’s pretty open to people, rural women from all kinds of backgrounds and degrees and then after that I just hit Google and had a look at what else was out there cuz there could be all kinds of things there’s Rotary scholarships and there’s I didn’t know what else but you don’t know what you might find until you start looking The Commonwealth funding from Centrelink I found out that information by actually going to

Centrelink I went to the office spoke to some of the people there told them what I was studying what I was doing and then they were able to tell me the range of funding that was available for me to apply to it didn’t necessarily mean I would get that funding but I was eligible to apply for the funding there was another funding source which I also applied for which I didn’t get but you know I applied for it as well which was a Golden Key Scholarship Golden Key is a group that you’re given membership of if you’re if you receive high marks during your undergraduate career and then there’s a couple scholarships associated with that which you can use to which you can apply to there was a number of websites I looked at for funding so there’s a couple of scholarship websites they kind of operate a bit like job forums where they just every time there’s a new scholarship that comes up they kind of appear onto this website and I really just trolled through those websites looking for anything that I in any way fit the criteria for So I found the funding by Google and then I asked my lecturer Melanie about it and she said that that was something that was an option for us to apply for so I applied for that through the UNE website and just gave them my details and filled out a form and I got the money about two weeks later so it was a really quick turnaround The onus is really on you to seek out those funding sources unfortunately there isn’t this one repository we can go right here is a list of every single thing you can apply for if it were that easy it would would be great and probably more people would apply but as it happens it’s really up to you to seek out those opportunities and if you do you’ll find that there are lots of pots of money that go unclaimed every year because people simply don’t publicise them so I can think of an example at the graduate level where we have lots of grants so competitive Australian Research Council grants lots of them have PhDs stipends attached to them so that means that if you can get into the PhD program you will get free education and you also get a stipend associated with that degree they go unclaimed all the time because people don’t advertise them properly so if you have an interest in a specific area another good way to go would be to contact someone in that area if your interested in history go to the history department and go contact a professor and say I’m interested in this do you know of any funding for which I could apply chemistry, biology whatever your archaeology we’re all here to help so start by asking sending emails making phone calls showing up and knocking on doors What adice would you give to someone looking for funding? Look everywhere look everywhere you possibly can and try and think outside of the box archaeology these days especially covers a very very broad range from the hard science through to the very very hard humanities so don’t feel like you need to only be looking at archaeology and only looking in your home country look around look for geography look for science look for humanities more broadly looking for art look for history all of these things have applications in archaeology depending on where your own research interest lies don’t restrict yourself to just one website or just thinking I want to do X in Y so I’ll only go there Look around definitely look around I wouldn’t have even known about it if I hadn’t googled I would not have thought that I would be able to have that kind of funding as an undergraduate but I do really recommend also asking masters students or people who are doing their PhD because they might have a bit more experience in what you can get during your undergraduate honors years Google is my best friend so I would definitely recommend using Google and ask your lecturers as well because generally they get access to emails and newsletters and things that might have funding opportunities that you wouldn’t have even thought about What you need to do if you need money the first thing you need to do is you just start looking everywhere and apply for everything and anything you may be eligible for and you know sometimes some scholarships aren’t actually filled the positions that are available aren’t filled so you may actually get in luck and get something where you may not be as qualified as someone else but they’ve got to pay the money out and in the end you need the money so I would absolutely suggest you apply for everything and anything and you look you know I was just doing Google searches for honours scholarships, postgraduate scholarships when I was in honors year that’s what I was just just doing a general search because yes the university has funding but there are independent bodies that offer funding as well and there are some Commonwealth bodies as well that offer funding which people can be eligible for What advice would you give to someone applying for funding? To be honest but you’re in advertising a little bit we all are but be honest with what your strengths are

because if you say you have you know a lot of experience in the field and all you’ve done is a 2-day field school well that’s a bit of a lie and you’re cheating yourself and you’re cheating that person that’s looking at you to provide funding the other thing you can do that’s really helpful is have a file on your computer that has important information in there that will help you with funding so start an excel file what are the things you’ve done have your CV in there what is your current credit point average what classes have you taken start a file of recommendations if people said nice things to you what about emails does anyone ever sent you an email saying hey good job on this that or the other start a file of people you can go to to us for references ask for letters of recommendation and keep all this on your desktop or you know somewhere on your computer so that you have a handy file already of resources that help you apply I mean I think it’s better to be organized in that way because knowing that sometimes you need to get quite a bit together to be able to apply for some of these things and also be prepared to write and write about what you know if I’m gonna give you five hundred dollars why should I give you five hundred, five thousand, ten thousand sell yourself why do you deserve it over this person right here and that’s not being dishonest but tell us you know what are you gonna do that is so different or why are you more deserving of this than someone else because at some level it is also a competition and I think that’s something to keep in mind Another aspect of this is if you’re showing the initiative and you’re calling around and you’re asking and people get impressed by that you know there’s no guarantees in life there never is but if you call up the president of the local Rotary and say you know I want to do this and I’m really excited and I want to study it the University of New England because they’re the best in the universe at want I want to study but I’m you know having a hard time figuring out how I’m going to afford this is there any packets of money that you guys might have there for people like me or can you steer me in the right direction they may not have that that pot of money to dip into but they might know somebody who does and the very fact that you’ve called them or contacted them that shows initiative and generally it’s people who show an initiative that that organizations like to support really I think if anyone is gonna stay in archeology just even academia at the the undergraduate or graduate level you have to develop a thick skin you’re going to get rejected and that’s the world you can get rejected nine times but get funded on the 10th you only need one yes you can have twenty no’s but you just need one yes but you can’t get any funding if you don’t try so I think you have to be prepared you have to go in to each application with the idea that you’re trying as hard as you can but the competition might be stiff and you may not get it don’t go in expecting to get something be pleasantly surprised if you do but if you don’t learn from it and say okay I didn’t get that ask for feedback some places won’t give you the time of day but other places might give you some feedback on why your application wasn’t successful or what you could do next time to make it a stronger application always ask for feedback because that also leaves an impression in the mind of your reviewers and if you were to apply for that same funding a year later they’ll remember you Any general advice to add? Just keep searching keep looking all the time even now I’m looking for more funding opportunities I’m looking for more scholarships I’m looking for more research opportunities, jobs, excavation opportinities try and keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on look at people who have been successful in their funding applications and think okay how did they get that look at the kind of people that are getting funded look at the people that aren’t getting funded I think how can I make myself stand out from the pack try that’s my general advice if you don’t try and you sit back you’re not going to get any funding so try and ask questions if you don’t know where to start grab one of us ask your fellow graduate students ask other undergraduate students that you know that have had funding ask a professor ask your lecturer go to the research office take the initiative because initiative is rewarded nothing in this game whether it be archaeology or academia rewards people that just sit back and wait for opportunities to come to them because that’s not going to happen what we really want to see is initiative and that’s what a funding body wants to see that’s where community organization wants to see I’d say apply for as much as you can some of them you obviously won’t meet the criteria for but if you’re even a little bit uncertain about it it’s worth just going for it like I say you got to be in it to win it and yes some of them are merit-based based on your academic record or something like that some of them aren’t so don’t be put off by that some of them are relative so they will pick the best applicant

so if you’re not feeling confident it’s worth applying anyway because you don’t know who else is applying you might still get it sometimes like I applied for the Mary Dylan one and I didn’t get it because it wasn’t offered that year but because they got my application they set up special scholarship specifically for me that year because they wanted to give me the funding because they thought it was a good project look look as far afield as you can for funding sources and don’t be afraid to apply for them because the worst that can happen they say no and so you are no worse off than you are to begin with but you’ve given a shot and what you’re wanting is those occasions when you get the yes really ask around because even in the last couple of days I’ve become more open to the idea of getting more funding in my undergraduate years and so I think every cent helps when your a student so make sure that you maximize your opportunities while they’re there you got to be in it to win it don’t get discouraged if you’re easily discouraged then your life is going to be hard in this game but my final advice I suppose is look in your own backyard look at who you are in your own individual circumstances and have an honest look about what kinds of things can you offer or would somebody be interested in you for and ask questions and apply apply apply it’s not going to come to you you got to go out and dig for it for it but you should have the training for that shouldn’t you Any question? Feel free to leave a comment and we’ll do our best to answer Our thanks go to all our contributors for giving their time and their answers UNE Archaeology Society