MRBA Skills contacted Paulina to ask her about her experience applying for one of the bursaries we made available during lockdown for researchers keen to take the MRS Advanced Certificate.  Here is what she told us:

Why did you want to study for the MRS Advanced Certificate?

What attracted me to the market research industry was its methodological rigour combined with deep insight. Having worked as a Project Manager for the past seven years, I admire it even more for its applications in both business and science. The researcher role is particularly appealing to me because it allows for a more intellectually stimulating environment, enables more impact on research design and direction, and better engagement through the whole project lifecycle. However, starting my career in fieldwork operations seemed to have closed the door for the roles in research, and as a non-native speaker, I found it particularly challenging to move across. Therefore, the MRS Advanced Certificate brings a great value not only for junior researchers but also for the career changers like me. After taking a sabbatical to volunteer in The Gambia earlier this year, I have seen it as an opportunity to upskill and take the desired course of my career.

Why did you choose to study at Research Academy?

Research Academy has an excellent reputation among my research colleagues, but what fully persuaded me, was the helpful content on their website. Detailed information about the course helped to set the expectations and to plan my schedule. Also, the profiles of the tutors assured me about high teaching standards and (offered) the right balance in academic and practical knowledge. My early interactions with the team were very positive – demonstrating excellent support and showing commitment to quality teaching.

How will the course help you in your job and/or benefit your career?

One of the key learnings will be a better understanding of the research methods demonstrated in writing proposals which best answer the research question. Besides the technical aspects, my tutor made me realise the importance of effective writing and critical thinking. It makes me confident that I will be able to better communicate with diverse audiences, which I am aiming to apply both in my professional career and in a non-profit organisation which I am (doing) in my spare time.

How will the MRBA Skills bursary benefit you?

The bursary enables me to (take) the course which otherwise I will not be able to afford, as none of my employers (were) willing to sponsor. I trust it will increase my confidence in designing and conducting research projects, as well as will improve my writing and communication skills.

MRBA Trustee in charge of MRBA Skills, Virginia Monk comments:  Thanks Paulina.  Your story is a great example of how a MRBA Skills bursary can help people change career direction. Having spent time in the operational side of research, Paulina is studying for the MRS Advanced Certificate to develop her researcher skills and knowledge. The Skills bursary has made this possible. I wish Paulina every success in her studies and in her future.