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With support from the Economic and Social Research Council, we launched the Scottish Training in Anthropological Research (STAR) consortium in 2006, bringing together PhD students and early career researchers from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and St Andrews.

In addition to co-hosting international conferences and workshops, the consortium aims to run week long residential courses each year. The first course targets students at the pre-fieldwork level and the second course is aimed at those at a fairly advanced stage of writing up.

The pre-fieldwork course involves half-day sessions, each combining a plenary workshop with smaller break-out groups. A distinguished UK anthropologist will be invited to attend the entire course, and often opens the programme with a formal lecture. Workshop topics may include: writing field notes, politics and ethics of fieldwork, working in a foreign language, visual methodologies, archival research, and material methodologies including issues of property and ownership.

The advanced (post-fieldwork) course includes plenary workshops, with break-out groups to address key topics in the building of research careers, both within and outside the academy and a series of parallel master-classes lead by distinguished international guests, allowing students to present their work and receive feedback from some of the most exciting innovators in world anthropology. Workshop topics may include: anthropological publishing, grant writing and research careers, researching for policy and practice, and innovative ethnography.