Supawan Saelim, from Thailand studies currently at the School of Development Economics, National Institute of Development Administration, and was at UNU-WIDER for three months aiming to further her PhD research on carbon taxes and low-income households.
Did the internship develop further your research proposal?
I made big progress on my thesis due to the supportive environment and useful comments. It is very common for PhD students to be distracted by other work and family matters. The internship provides the opportunity to fully focus on research under the advice of a mentor and a chance to exchange ideas and discuss with UNU-WIDER's researchers and other PhD interns.
Did you have opportunities for networking with other researchers?
Yes, very much so. I participated in the research staff's weekly seminars and learnt about a number of topics, including topics outside my own field of research, which widened my knowledge and experience on how to present, deal with comments, and the potential concerns or issues related to a particular research topic. PhD interns also had the chance to have supporting roles at UNU-WIDER's events, which provided a great experience on how to professionally organize an event. I really enjoyed participating in the events, seminars, and discussing with other researchers.
Did the UNU-WIDER internship programme meet your expectations?
The best part of the internship were the people, especially my mentor, Nadia Ouedraogo, and the other PhD interns. It was so great to have time to write my thesis in the supportive environment with my mentor who provided useful advice, and other PhD interns with whom I became great friends with. I also enjoyed the activities provided by UNU-WIDER such as movie outings, sports activities, and group coffee breaks. The researchers and staff were very friendly and supportive. The experience at UNU-WIDER was beyond my expectations, especially the life in beautiful Helsinki, and peaceful moments working on my thesis.
The experience strengthened my interests in research work and developed useful skills—such as giving presentations, as well as interpersonal, logical and critical-thinking.