By Kristina Livitckaia who is doing a PhD in Greece and gained secondment experience in The Centre for Research & Technology (CERTH), Hellas.
My secondment that lasted for 3 months just finished, but it really feels like tomorrow I will go there instead of my office space at the Lab, where I used to work for about a year. I have to mention that the Research centre (CERTH) I worked in is located in the same city where I live (Thessaloniki), which differs from the secondment experience when you are moving to another country; but I still think that sharing my experience with people who are going for their secondment or in the process of the decision-making (to go or not) might be useful without any regard to the research or study area.
I will start with the part, which I defined as the most beneficial part I had working in CERTH – collaboration with experienced researchers. What did it give practically? The collaboration gave me a clear vision of the skills that I have to have in order to grow professionally. I got many advices that helped me in a way to write more scientifically, to think differently, and most importantly, to communicate in a way to have better relations and understanding with colleagues. I think these are crucial components for most kind of jobs you can have, and especially for the research. Equally important, the collaboration that has been established with CERTH researchers will continue throughout the duration of my PhD research.
Talking about the part that I enjoyed, and enjoyed the most, it was the feeling of being surrounded by completely different environment and atmosphere. The secondment gave me a view of doing European research, but in another place than the University. I think that most of the PhD fellows will agree that to change the common office or lab space, sometimes is a must-have for further, often more advances and next-level, progress.
Concluding, I believe that the secondment experience influences acceleration of the career path. For example, such experience benefits of making a future career choice between academia and industry-oriented research sector.
There are, of course, many tiny details left that I can share with you, but I wanted to keep this post short. So, if you have any question regarding to the secondment that is about to happen in Greek Research centre, or in Greece, or in the area of health behavior informatics, or secondment in general, feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Cheers!