Polina Baum-Talmor

I am currently studying towards a PhD in Social Sciences, being part of the SIRC-Nippon fellowship (2012-2016), funded by the Nippon Foundation. My research project focuses on the relevance of the notion of ‘career’ in contractual employment, using seafarers as an exemplifying case to career development in particular. The title of the thesis is: “The notion of ‘career in globalized industries: The case of seafarers”. The research questions focus on the extent to which the flexibility of seafarers’ employment undermines their career structure with relation to their role on board.

In 2013, I obtained an MSc (Masters of Science) diploma in SSRM (Social Sciences Research Methods) with merit, from Cardiff University.

In 2012, I attained an M.A. (Master of Arts) degree in Anthropology at the University of Haifa (Israel), with distinction, for which I have been studying between the years 2010-2012, majoring in the qualitative study of seafarers. The title of the Masters’ dissertation is: “From sea to shore: An ethnographic account of seafaring experience”.

In 2009 I completed a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) degree in Sociology, Anthropology and Human Resources at the University of Haifa (Israel), for which I have been studying between the years 2005-2009.

A genuine interest in seafarers began after finishing the BA, after which I almost joined the maritime industry as a deck officer. However, the eagerness of pursuing an academic education as well as contributing to seafarers’ welfare resulted in embarking on the study of seafarers as my main research subject. After attending the SIRC symposium at Cardiff University in July 2011, I applied for the SIRC-Nippon fellowship and got accepted.

I have three years experience as a research and teaching assistant at the University of Haifa (Israel). As a teaching assistant, I have taught undergraduate students in: ‘Introduction to Anthropology’ (2010); ‘Introduction to anthropology’ (2011); ‘Qualitative methods’ (2011-2012); as well as Masters students in ‘Qualitative Methods- introduction’ (2012).

Starting from 2013, I have been volunteering as a ship visitor on behalf of the AoS (Apostleship of the sea), visiting cargo ships in Cardiff Port, and meeting seafarers from different backgrounds and trying to improve their wellbeing on board. In the past, I used to work as a social counselor for new immigrants who arrived in Israel from various countries (for two years). Prior to that, I was a social instructor for teenagers in a youth center (for two years). I was born in Latvia, and my family moved to Israel in the early 1990s when I was eight years old. I speak Russian (full professional proficiency), Hebrew (native language), English (full professional proficiency), Spanish (basic) and Arabic (basic).

Cardiff life