According to Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions guide: “Secondment is a period of research training with another beneficiary or a partner organisation implemented to further enrich the training experience of a researcher.”
Extraofficially, secondment as a fellow means to freeze your life wherever you are, pack your things and go. Manage to go on secondment is hard, but there is still one thing harder: coming back.
After more than six months at Maria Sibilia lab at Medical University of Vienna I only have words of acknowledgment.
Besides data and results, this secondment gave me the opportunity of learning new techniques and be exposed to different expertises and backgrounds that wider my view and enriched my mind. Moreover, as part of a big academic group in a leading institution as Institute of Cancer Research the networking opportunities were endless.
From a personal point of view, being abroad push you out of your comfort zone, far away from your beloved ones potentiating your social and language skills and strengthening the relationship with yourself. Indeed, during secondment you and your project became closer. Your time is limited and you have to stand for the best of your interests. After this time, my project and I are different. We both have grown. And we have done it together.
Now it is time for me to come back with packages full of samples, my mind full of new ideas and enthusiasm to continue working. Nevertheless, I can not pack everything with me. Great colleagues, good friends and a part of me are staying in this beautiful city.
Finally, I would like to sincerely thank you once more to all Maria Sibilia lab members and especially my very good friends and METACAN ESRs Dana and Renia for this time.
See you soon, Virginia