I am glad to be the one to first report on our second summer school, held in Prague this very week. It was a great experience both from the point of view of our collective research, as well as in terms of networking and getting to know one of the most mesmerising European cities. To keep my report short, I will try to highlight the most important aspects of the second Food Smart Summer School. To begin with, the benefits of this event are manifold. For one thing, it was a great opportunity to be instructed on both mass spectroscopy techniques and on how to evaluate measurements.
Secondly, the most eventful part of our week in Prague was the ESR presentations, held on Wednesday. Among the avalanche of emotions and pre-presentation jitters, it was wonderful to be able to learn about the progress that each ESR has made in this first year, particularly the ones within work package 3. Simultaneously, it was very useful to observe the feedback given by the participating professors and the manner in which they pinpointed possible gaps in one’s research and suggested ways to overcome them.
Thirdly, I am grateful for the feedback I received regarding the research possibilities which we can explore together in the near future. I look forward to implementing that feedback, while possibly considering alternative research paths or future collaborations to advance the research carried out in Linkoping at the moment. It was also a great opportunity to finally meet my fellow ESRs, especially during our informal discussions at lunch and dinner time. I learnt that none of their research endeavour is without challenges, but it was great to know that we all strive to overcome them, even when things seem rather hopeless. Also, we all experience some difficulties regarding the new cultures we now live in, while trying to learn the local language and to make new friends in this continuous process of building our new life.
Prague city was indeed an endless archive of delightful architectural discoveries. Despite the limited time we had for sightseeing, I was able to visit the Old Town and the famous Charles Bridge. Prague Castle seemed truly worth visiting, a UNESCO complex of delightful buildings, offering a charming panorama view of the city.
Despite the city’s extremely dynamic atmosphere, with thousands of tourists loitering back and forth through the city, the transportation network and the occasional Über rides made navigating the city along with the other ESRs quite pleasant. I look very much forward to meeting them again and I hope we will stay in touch both regarding our academic objectives, as well as on a more informal level at which we all come across personal challenges within the framework of our individual projects, and we can discuss them and support each other even outside the research framework we are now situated in.
I came back to Linköping to do my very best to meet the target of our project here, and to push beyond its predetermined limits, and I am hoping to be able to visit some of my fellow ESRs and the labs in which they work in the near future.