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Our ViBrANT ITN 2019 update
It has been roughly 289 days, 21 hours and 20 minutes since the ViBrANT PhD students have parted their ways in Frankfurt. On the 24th of June 2019, we were reunited in our headquarters at the University of Leeds, for two weeks of intensive training. “What has happened in the meantime?” was the first question we have asked each other. It is nice to catch up and find out how much progress we have made.
On our first day in Leeds, we worked hard on our posters for the FEMS conference and the content for our website. We are looking forward to getting a lot of insight into structural biology techniques and new developments during the upcoming Summer School. We are also excited about the scientific input into our projects from our supervisory committee meetings. Those meetings are particularly important to us now that we have gotten to know our projects so much better over this past busy, but rewarding year.
How does it feel to be part of the ViBrANT Marie Curie ITN team?
Hope, anxiety, excitement… this is how you feel as a part of the ViBrANT ITN team. When we started our ViBrANT project last September we were all so excited. Whilst ViBrANT presented some challenges in the beginning it’s given us an opportunity to explore new ideas on the way. ViBrANT is a multidisciplinary team allowing us to exchange knowledge from different scientific areas to fight infectious diseases. Being a PhD student is not only about science; it also improves personal skills like being independent and management of your life. The workload that we need to balance includes research, PhD courses, our ViBrANT network training and showcasing our research. All of these can be achieved thanks to our collaborators and supervisors. Above all, it is professional compatibility which is the major factor that can bring success in your PhD life.
Within the ViBrANT program, Phd students, known as Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) are expected to spend some time in other partner universities or research institutions as secondments. So far, seven ESRs have been away for secondments in different places across Europe. Highlights included getting hands-on experience of cutting-edge technology in new research environments that can be later applied to our individual research. Networking with other researchers in similar fields was another noteworthy experience. Challenges included creating similar experimental conditions in the visiting labs whilst reaching set aims within tight timeframes. Overall, secondments have not only added extra value to the individual researchers, but have also helped bring new research approaches to our home institutions.
Moving to a new country has been rewarding. Some of the things we enjoyed most were finding a new hobby such as roller derby, athletics, playing the piano and home decor.
‘ Playing roller derby allowed me to meet new friends who have introduced me to the Finnish lifestyle.’
Living abroad has taught us to be more independent, responsible and confident. Communicating and working with people from a different cultural backgrounds has made us more open-minded.
It has been a good journey so far. The next two weeks are going to serve as an interactive platform, especially for the newer members of the group. It is a great opportunity for us to get to know about the progress of individual projects. The experiences in the home countries so far is something we have been discussing together. Along with this, the poster presentation by the ViBrANT team will be a enriching experience. FEMS2019 will also serve as a big platform for ViBrANT outreach.
For the next two years we are aiming to publish our research in high impact journals to underline the quality of our work. A major objective of ViBrANT ITN is to develop PhD students into competent independent researchers.ViBrANT is providing valuable training and experiences to expand our skillsets.
ViBrANT is a dynamic connection between academia and industry that works as a complete package for developing high-quality researchers.