Why it Matters: Annette LaRocco (2012)

Annette LaRocco (2012) is a third-year PhD student from the United States and a recipient of student support. Annette is based in the Department of Politics and International Studies and her research focuses on the politics of land, wildlife conservation and state-building in southern Africa.

“I spent most of the second year of my PhD conducting fieldwork in Botswana. Without the support of the Rouse Ball Research Fund much of this fieldwork would have been impossible.

Research in the developing world can be a very expensive endeavour, especially when working in more remote areas outside of national capitals. My research focuses on the political implications of conservation policy, meaning for my fieldwork I spent a lot of time ‘out in the bush’. In order to conduct face-to-face interviews with communities in rural Botswana I needed to hire a research assistant for translating and rent a four wheel drive vehicle and camping equipment—all costly items in my research budget. Without research support funding from Trinity I would not have been able to conduct fieldwork as ambitious and wide-ranging as I did. I know this will contribute significantly to the final product of original research. I greatly appreciate this support and hope one day to be able to give back myself.”

Annette has now returned to Cambridge from Botswana for her final year of her PhD. While she is focused on writing up her dissertation she also spends time presenting her research at conferences and teaching undergraduates on the Politics of Africa course.