Hope you gradually coming back to your normal habits after the tough March-May period. Luckily, the situation related to coronavirus wasn’t t that bad here in the Czech Republic, so almost everything is properly operating the last two weeks.
Regarding our project, I am approaching the end of it which is also related with the defense of my Ph.D. thesis. In fact, the defense is planned during September so at this point I am preparing my thesis in order to submit it, hopefully, at the end of this month. With this blog, I would like to share with you a timeline during this magnificent MSCA journey. There you go:
- March 2017: I applied for the position and thinking that my chances were limited as such positions attracting many scientists.
- June 2017: I was hired as the ESR6 of the FoodSmartphone project and started my PhD studies in the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague.
- November 2017: I attended the prestigious RAFA conference in Prague (in fact, as a host) and presented for the first time our project during the FoodSmartphone Open Day.
- December 2017: I had my first secondment at CSIC in Barcelona and started to realize the great international opportunities provided by MSCA.
- September 2018: After finishing my secondment in Linkoping, I finally have a first real prototype of my assay. Reaching this point was an endless uphill with numerous failures. A great lesson that you need to try more and more to achieve something.
- February 2019: My first co-authored FoodSmartphone paper was published in Biosensors and Bioelectronics journal. As I told you, work started to pay off. You can find the paper in the following link, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956566319300843.
- July 2019: My first oversees experience in the 56th North American Chemical Residue Workshop was combined with an oral presentation of our work as well as a Ph.D. student award
- October 2019 – January 2020: Three first-author publications were published during this period over-fulfilling my obligation to publish 3 papers to acquire the Ph.D. title, in detail:
- A review in Trends in Analytical Chemistry, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165993619304455#!
- A smartphone assay in Sensors, https://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/19/24/5579
- A microplate assay in Applied Sciences, https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3417/10/2/565
- May 2020: Another co-authored publication entitled “Smartphone-based optical assays in the food safety field”, was accepted in Trends in Analytical Chemistry and will be soon available online.
The reason I am writing this is not to showcase my achievements but to emphasize the significant effect and the numerous opportunities provided by MSCA. Through these experiences one tests his limits (trust me this “race” is a marathon that impose you to keep a standard fast pace) and becomes a mature person as well as a skilled scientist.
If you reading this thinking to apply for a MSCA position, then I highly recommend you to do so. Indeed, the chances are not with your side but you don’t have something to lose. Try it! Otherwise, if you are out of academia I hope to get how our field is working and appreciate this discussion.
In any case thanks for reading and see you 🙂