Written by Rob Byrne, AACME
This blog post reflects on my experience during a 3-month placement working as part of the Environment and Transport team within Senedd Research at the National Assembly for Wales. Senedd Research is an expert, impartial and confidential research and information service designed to meet the needs of Assembly Members and their staff.
Moving to Cardiff
I found a three-month tenancy in Cardiff Bay, literally a minute’s walk from the National Assembly, but previous interns also used Airbnb and spareroom.co.uk. The city was a joy to live in and has plenty to keep you entertained, whether you want good restaurants and bars, tea rooms, museums and galleries … or to watch some rugby! I especially enjoyed running around the Cardiff Bay barrage and visiting the south Wales coast and Brecon Beacons. Being in Cardiff for Wales’ Six Nations Grand Slam victory and their celebrations at the Senedd was also something I won’t forget in a hurry!
Returning to PhD life, overall experience and future career aspirations
While I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to leaving the Assembly, I have returned to the PhD with renewed energy, more confidence and a more professional outlook on my research and work. I have improved some valuable communication and organisational skills which can be reapplied during the remainder of my research.
All in all, this was an invaluable experience which gave me a chance to apply my research skills in a different environment while gaining an insight into the workings of one of the UK’s four parliaments. The experience has certainly shaped my ideas for a future career – I now realise that it is possible to marry political interest with a scientific / research background and I would absolutely love to pursue a similar role in future. I would gladly recommend the internship to anyone!
If you are interested in applying to the UKRI Policy Internships Scheme, see below:
Please apply here by 12 August: https://www.ukri.org/skills/policy-internships-scheme/
Other previous interns have found the experience of working at the Assembly to be very valuable – see four articles by former students about their placement: Hayley Moulding, Eleanor Warren-Thomas, Piotr Wegorowski and Rachel Prior.Examples of publications by previous students can be found here: http://www.assembly.wales/en/bus-home/research/academic-engagement/Pages/UKRI-PhD-student-placements.aspx
Picture: Warren Gatland (Head Coach of Wales), Mark Drakeford (First Minister of Wales) and Alun Wyn Jones (Captain of Wales) with the Six Nations and Triple Crown trophies inside the Senedd at the National Assembly for Wales.