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A remarkable journey with TAV in Vienna

When I first heard whispers about the COORDINATE Transnational Access Visits (TAV), it felt like an unmissable opportunity. I was excited to learn my application to work at the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research was successful. The idea of visiting Vienna in different seasons, fitting seamlessly around my work schedule, was incredibly appealing. The magnificent city of Vienna – from cozy Christmas markets to elegant nights at the opera – proved to be the perfect backdrop for my work.

The midcareer opportunist

As a midcareer researcher, the chance to fully immerse myself in learning new analytical skills and diving into new datasets is rare. The COORDINATE Transnational Access Visits (TAV) gave me the space, time, and connections to grow as a researcher. I was supported in exploring a new area of research, the role of retirement in mental health, using the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) dataset. The SHARE dataset is a treasure trove. It enables research into various topics and, importantly for my work, provides observations from multiple time points and even has a retrospective wave supporting life course investigations.  Surrounded by experts in the European Centre, I have uncovered the delights of the SHARE dataset that will form a central role in my research going forward.

Collaborations and intellectual growth

Central to my TAV experience was the opportunity for collaboration and intellectual engagement. A special mention to Cassandra Simmons, whose intellect, insight, patience, and vineyard recommendations, made this experience invaluable. Engaging with her opened up new perspectives and deepened my understanding of various concepts. We delved into the nuances of economic and epidemiology terminology, which was both challenging and exhilarating. These interactions didn't just leave me with a better grasp of how these fields intersect; they also equipped me with insights on how to enrich my research by applying methods from both disciplines. This intellectual symbiosis was, without a doubt, one of the highlights of my TAV experience.

Reflecting on a Fulfilling Experience

Reflecting on my time with TAV, I am struck by a sense of deep enrichment and achievement. Vienna, with its historical charm and cultural richness, was more than just a backdrop; it was an integral part of my research journey. Diving into the SHARE dataset at the European Centre, surrounded by expertise and collaboration, was transformative. This experience didn't just enhance my skills and knowledge; it reignited my passion for research. It's a reminder of the ever-evolving journey of discovery in research, enriched by new insights and connections along the way.


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