I am now two months into my PhD at the University of Nottingham and feel like I am making some pretty good progress with my reading and literature review, as well as planning my research visits. However I have already found myself thinking about the future.
I am applying for a fellowship through the Arts and Humanities Research Council International Placement Scheme at the Huntington Library in California and as part of my PhD. For the application I looked into the wider early-modern research community in Los Angeles and Southern California. One section of that community is the USC-Huntington Library Early Modern Studies Institute, and whilst searching through the centre's website I came across a generously funded Mellon Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship focusing on the Early Americas / Atlantic World. I found myself wondering what is required for successful applications to such programs, both here and in the USA.
I know that it is really early to think about this but I have so far been continuously encouraged to plan my personal development, I think that a part of this ought to be focusing this development towards possible future opportunities and aligning it with their job descriptions. Should I develop an appropriate research project I think that this would be one program that I would want to apply to. If I keep collecting these ideas and opportunities this early I will have plenty of options when it comes time to start applying to post-PhD jobs and programs. I also need to decide whether I want to continue in academia, explore museum or other public sector work, or perhaps something else entirely. I think that at the moment I would like to pursue research but museum work has always interested me as well.
The main thing though its making sure that it doesn't distract from my current research - because getting the PhD is required for any of these opportunities.