the INFRASTAR project is done.
After three years of my participation as ESR (Early Stage Researcher), my contract has officially ended on January 1st... but not my PhD.
Since, unlike at most of the universities in Europe, doctoral studies takes usually around four years in ETH domain universities, thus ETHZ and EPFL, I still have couple of months, and plenty of work, to go. My goal is to defend by end of 2020, but it's a material for another post.
Here, I wanted to sum-up a bit the INFRASTAR project from my perspective. It's a good moment, as two weeks ago, on February 6, we have had the final workshop of our project in the capital of EU.
INFRASTAR, as every ITN project, means travelling. With kick-off meeting in Berlin back in 2016; three training weeks in Berlin, Lausanne and Aalborg; Spring School in Nantes; three implementation days in Cologne, Paris and Copenhagen; final meeting in Brussels and, finally, secondments in Aalborg and Paris... I have spent more than half a year out of Lausanne during last three years! All these trips resulted in new contacts, insights and ideas.
The project meant also cooperation. With Mariia and Antoine we've managed to prepare common papers, but I've had a chance to exchange thoughts and ideas with most of fellows. And, I've had an unique opportunity to meet professors and experts who have mastered their domains.
However, the crucial part of the project is feeling that you're not alone. You are not locked in the bubble of your own research. Contrary, you can see work, struggles and successes of the others. This helps a lot, especially during downs, which happen to everyone during the PhD.
Doing PhD within the ITN project is really fortunate, and I am genuinely happy that I could have been part of it. I can't even imagine how the last three years would have looked like without it.
But, now I am in a very short 2020 year. I'm counting days because each one shall be important this year...
Wish me luck!