As spring represents the renewal, there is no better time to start a project. From Germany to Italy, from Slovakia to Sweden, partners, early stage researchers and beneficiaries met for the kick-off of the urbanHIST project in Weimar during the first week of May. To be part of the urbanHIST project means to be part of this great consortium. The meeting, which was punctuated by a number of workshops and presentations, had as its main mission getting to know each other. The atmosphere became soon more friendly than official. It was a time dedicated to having a better understanding of the project's goals and to getting to know better the people involved.
For us, as early stage researchers (ESRs), it was the time to meet our coordinators and supervisors with whom we will work for the next three years. From email exchanges and videoconference to real life, our project materialised itself. We had time to discuss our research subject, find some answers but also a number of new questions.
The kick-off of the project was also the opportunity to meet partner organisations of the project. Each of them is working in very diverse field which makes this project even more interesting. For us it was the opportunity to make new contacts which will help us in our research. It is also the opportunity to receive a different point of view on the research we will conduct. It was a very valuable time. Their interest was warmly welcomed and really appreciated.
However, meeting the ESRs involved at another university was perhaps the most important. We have similar ages, but also the same interests and motivations. I have to admit that the connection worked pretty well. We wanted to enjoy this opportunity to better know each other. During the entire project we will have the chance to meet at different universities but also all together, at least, each six months. What we will remember is the enthusiasm for the project which accompanied the team during all three days. The presentation of each participant, the scientific and educational programme and the different activities helped make introductions. Underlined by a sport session, barbecue and singing time we learned to know each other in a warm atmosphere.
All in all, I believe everyone came back home with the energy to successfully accomplish this project. Let's keep the enthusiasm persist until the next meeting in Karlskrona in October 2017.
Author: Agnès Dudych
Photo: Thomas Müller