Undergraduate student involvement in Fashion and Textile research
This work provides an insight into a functioning partnership between one academic member of staff and one student. The student was effectively paid to learn in an area that benefitted their interests and employability, as they undertook an internship and the academic acquired an extra pair of hands to carry out the tasks that they had difficulty finding the time to do. These tasks were the first stages of research enquiry, where the time intensity of their practical nature had meant the academic had failed to embark on their research journey sooner. This case study reviews the impact of taking on an undergraduate student as a paid intern to help an academic begin their research. The benefits and draw backs from the academic and student perspective are discussed, as are the difficulties found in establishing a foothold on the first steps to research. Whilst beginning research can be difficult, it is a requirement of the academic role. With much debate surrounding the quality of work nationally from Fashion and Textile (F&T) contributions, it could be seen as a level of judgement that is preferably avoided. Statistics discussed in the work show little involvement from F&T academics and this was felt to be a result of a lack of time and guidance. Where the internship was expected to free up the academic’s time there were unseen problems that hindered progress, but also benefits that helped to shape the direction of research. Student involvement in research helped to narrow the academic’s focus into an achievable outcome and has highlighted the benefit of working with others. The findings detail the partnership as a positive experience and raises awareness of areas that need to be addressed within Institutions, so that academics can be helped into beginning research, particularly in F&T subjects.
Citation : Burbidge, H. (2015) Undergraduate student involvement in Fashion and Textile research. Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education, 14 (2), pp. 161-173
ISSN : 1474-273X
Peer Reviewed : Yes