Philanthropic support from our US-based donors through the American Friends of the University of Leicester, Inc helps to transform the lives of our scholarship and award recipients, enabling access to an education previously out of reach.
The American Friends PhD Scholarship Award was launched in 2022 to support University of Leicester PhD students who have an affiliation with the USA, either through their geographical location or their PhD subject. The first scholarship was awarded in February 2023. You can support the next scholar here.
Inaugural Scholar, Meg Gaillard
American distance learning PhD researcher with the University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History, Meg Gaillard, shares her experience of being the University’s first American Friends PhD Scholar:
Q. How does it feel to be the first-ever American Friends PhD Scholar?
I am honoured and humbled by the generous support I have received for my PhD research entitled While I Breathe, I Hope. As part of my research, I am investigating how cultural resource managers like me can work with other professionals, sovereign Tribal Nations, descendent communities, stakeholders, and community scientists to document, protect, and mitigate cultural heritage at risk using a transdisciplinary approach.
Simply put, receiving this scholarship from the American Friends lifted a financial weight from my shoulders so that I could focus on my research.
Q. What does being a student at the University of Leicester mean to you?
As a part-time, distance learning PhD researcher returning to academic life 14 years after completing my master’s degree, it is exciting to be part of a university community that not only looks to the future but does so in a generous, purpose-driven way.
I hope my research will add to the Citizens of Change call to action by making a lasting change in how we protect cultural heritage for current and future generations in the face of climate-related impacts.
Q. What’s next for you?
This scholarship will allow me to conduct more comparative global research and learn from other cultural heritage stewards facing similar climate change issues. Global conversations and observations will, in turn, help inform how I evaluate cultural landscapes locally, allowing me to engage with more community members whose traditional cultural landscapes face climate-related impacts. These types of personal connections will not only enhance my thesis but will live well beyond my PhD research by helping to strengthen a community of support to address future impacts on cultural heritage.
Being part of the global University of Leicester community is an honour. Thank you.
Meg created a video about her PhD research which can be viewed below