Zoom Screen of Bratislava Online Event participants.

ESRs assemble – Welcome to the COBRA ESR blog

The 15 ESRs have all begun working towards their PhDs at their respective institutions. We want to keep everyone updated on our work progress and the realities of pursuing a PhD – Welcome to the ESR blog, where we will do just that. 

One year ago, the 15 of us were all hopeful applicants. Today, we are the newest members of the COBRA Network. We are the COBRA Early Stage Researchers working towards our PhDs in eight different countries.

This Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network (ITN) has been five years in the making. Our supervisors and the consortium members have all pondered over our research projects long before many of us ever even thought about getting a PhD. And now we are entrusted with carrying out this innovative and interdisciplinary research. 

Being part of an ITN means doing three PhDs in one. All of us moved abroad, and we will all move two to three more times before we graduate. We are working with academia and industry, trying to bridge the gap between the academic pursuit of knowledge and its applicability in technology. 

Being a fellow in this ITN is daunting and inspiring, challenging and exciting. And the 20/21 academic year poses its very own challenges.  

But there are 15 of us, living through the same thing in vastly different ways. Through hours of Zoom calls spent discussing research, the challenges of learning a foreign language and cultural immersion, tons of texts and and short messages exchanged, we are quickly becoming a team. Not only are we working on our individual projects, we are also working on exchanging our knowledge within the network and communicating our science to the public. 

Our first training event, organized by the IISAS Bratislava, is being held online this week. We are participating in workshops on neuroscience and neurolinguistics, bilateral accounts of language and gender in science. We will also have the opportunity to present our own research projects and get feedback from other network members.

In the coming months we will update you on what we have learned and will be taking you along the wild ride that is getting a PhD in the COBRA Network through our ESR blog.

Follow us on Twitter (@CobraNetwork)  and Instagram (@conversationalbrainsmscaitn) to stay up to date. 

Author: Lena-Marie Huttner, ESR1,@lena_hutter
Editors: Tom Offrede, ESR5, @TomOffrede and Dorina de Jong, ESR2, @dorinadejong

If you want to know more about our projects and the ESRs working on them, please look under the Training tab.

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