Rachel Hosier - online CIfA bursary recipient


I am an enabled mature volunteer archaeologist who has finally taken the leap and applied to go back to University this September and am hoping to convert years of volunteering into paid work. Until then I am broadening my knowledge of the archaeology employment landscape and current issues and building a network of contacts. The CIfA online Conference seemed ideal, and I was delighted to be awarded a bursary to attend.

Attracted by the broad spread of relevant topics available and the capacity to attend live or on catch-up, this event was perfect for me, as my conditions mean there can be issues trying to attend events in-person. So I felt welcomed as an enabled participant from the start of the bursary application process.

I was particularly keen to attend the session on Enabled Archaeology and another on Understanding the social values of archaeology and heritage through people-centred methods, the last one tapping into my transferrable skills and much of the public-facing volunteer work I am already doing. It was a joy to have so many valuable insights shared from so many different projects yet all with similar aims and values – to design, facilitate and enable inclusive practice in heritage. What was interesting for me was the comparison I was able to make between how archaeology is doing this compared to my background in education and where and how overlaps of good practice occur. I realise now that I have a lot more in my toolkit that I can offer the archaeology sector.

I was lucky to hear Kate Clark twice during the conference and found her keynote speech unstuffy and inspiring. I would like to thank CIfA for organising and providing the bursary opportunities. I am already using ideas from the conference in my own practice and have lots of ideas for the future. Who knows, maybe one day I will be sharing them with you!