SAS Worldwide: The Humanities Institute, University College Dublin

Our next stop on our tour of the SAS Turing Scheme Partnerships brings us to the capital of Ireland: Dublin!

Monja Stahlberger

Monja Stahlberger

PhD Candidate at the Institute for Languages, Cultures & Societies

I spent 5 weeks at the Humanities Institute at University College Dublin on a Turing Scheme mobility. I not only developed invaluable research skills and met other postgrads and ECRs with fascinating projects, but also was incredibly lucky to live in one of the most beautiful and culturally diverse places in Ireland. 

Fáilte go Baile Átha Cliath - Welcome to Dublin

Only 280 miles away from London, Dublin does not seem that far away or as exciting as other places on the Turing Scheme opportunity list. However, what I already learnt during my Erasmus exchange is that the distance doesn’t matter. Like the nerd I am, the academic opportunity was what excited me the most. 

Prior to my stay, I had already identified some archives, libraries, and museums I wanted to visit for my research. I was basically already planning a research trip to Ireland and when I saw this placement advertised, I knew it was perfect for me. In addition to conducting primary research for my PhD project, I also had the chance to experience a different research culture. Even though Dublin is just across the Irish Sea, some things are just a bit different here to HE in the UK – and it was interesting to see this especially when shadowing teaching or attending seminars. The change of scenery and research environment also meant I gained new momentum for my own writing and I really benefited from exchanging and discussing ideas with experts in the field of German Studies.


UCD Campus

Growing as a Researcher

Giving my paper at the conference entitled "Thresholds: Concepts of Rupture, Change and Adaptation"

I’m still very grateful that I got to present my research at the annual Postgraduate conference of the Humanities Institute hosted by their Transnationalising Humanities PhD Network. The conference  under the theme “Thresholds” gave me lots of food for thought and we had some interesting discussions about theoretical concepts and approaches. This was also the first time I was able to give a presentation in person after Covid restrictions were lifted which made it so much more special! The variety of research activities was so enriching and encouraging that I can only recommend this placement. The Humanities Institute and its resident scholars, staff members, and students were all welcoming and friendly. I felt at ease from Day 1.

Some of my highlights included:

  • Shadowing some teaching
  • Attending the “Relationality in German Studies” workshop
  • Presenting at the Postgraduate conference
  • Many archive and museum visits (Trinity College Reading Rooms, County Down Museum, Museum of Literature Ireland, Exit – the Irish Emigration Museum…)

My Stay in 37 Seconds

If you want to get a little glimpse of what I got up to watch my “1 second a day” video! I promise it’s not all work and I treated myself to a Guinness or two during my stay. 

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