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Megan Elias is a MSc student in the Institute of Archaeology. In this bite-sized student story, Megan reflects on the initial stages of her collaboration with the community organisation Crossbones.

Please describe the steps you have taken to set up your collaboration. What has the process been like?

​I was on site for a paper I was writing in term two and that is when I met the site manager who was very generous with her time and sharing information about the site. That is what made me think it might be a good fit for a collaboration, it is a site with many changes occurring and much work to be done. I saw the lecture on CRIS not long after and sent Anne an email to tell her abot the site and see what her thoughts were and if it seemed like a good fit for CRIS. She thought it was and told me how to get the ball rolling by introducing her and the site manager via email where we made plans to have a Teams meeting. Anne suggested I invite my supervisor and he was more than happy to attend as well. We had a very productive meeting, Anne set us up to circle back in a few weeks, leaving me time to wrap up my assignments and have a little mental break and yesterday I had a debrief with my supervisor to discuss next steps.

How much was your supervisor involved in this stage and how important (or not) was this involvement?

​I was nervous (not sure why) to invite him and was surprised and delighted that he was enthusiastic about being involved in the meeting with the site manager. Having him and Anne there made me feel a lot safer, for some reason. I guess because the process of writing a dissertation and what it should include/look like is still new to me. So, it felt very important.

How easy was it to arrive at a research topic or question that suited you and also your organisation? What did that process look like?

​Still working out the details on this but having my supervisor there made a huge difference to keeping it on track and laying out some options. I am thinking that through now. I am planning to come up with two or three options as proposals to present to the organisation ad then work from there.

What has been most exciting part of this process so far?

​Just learning about the site more, feeling involved with them, meeting Anne.

What has been the most daunting or stressful?

​Finding the time to think it through and be excited about it. I'm pretty fried after last term.

What are your hopes for the collaboration?

​Hoping to produce something useful and interesting. Expanding my knowledge in ways that will help me on the job front after graduation as well.