Brief description of the visit
The Transnational Access Visit programme offered me a unique opportunity to visit Dublin, gain access to robust cohort data, and to collaborate with other academics. I visited Dublin and University College Dublin (UCD) late in August 2022 till early September.
The project’s topic
During my research visit, I had the chance to access and analyse the Growing Up in Ireland cohort datasets. This is robust longitudinal study following young children’s and their families’ lives, development, and social circumstances over many years. Along with my academic collaborator (AC), we sought to identify homogenous subpopulations of children’s mental health problems in young children living in Ireland. We hope to publish our very interesting findings soon.
Engaging in further academic activities
As one might imagine, the TAV programme is not singularly focused, but offers many more valuable opportunities to engage in further academic activities. For example, while I was visiting Dublin for two weeks, I was invited by my AC to attend the Biennial Conference of the European Association for Research on Adolescence (EARA). This was an amazing experience and I had the chance to interact with both my AC and many more academics and early career researchers in Trinity College Dublin.
The academic collaboration
To say that I am very satisfied with the level of academic collaboration would not do justice to what I experienced. Prof. Jenny Symonds, my AC, was an amazing host. Not only did she invite me to the conference she was chairing, but also she invited me for drinks with her lab team members, when I also met Dr. Seaneen Sloan. Additionally, we had lunch at UCD and met many times in the UCD School of Education in order to discuss our current and future collaborative projects.
Picture at the UCD pond
Sightseeing in Dublin
As expected, while I enjoyed the academic experiences, I was not remiss in exploring the county of Dublin. During my brief stay, I visited many museums, central and coastal places (Blackroack, Howth, Dún Laoghaire, etc.) and enjoyed the food. Dublin has a truly majestic view and is totally worth exploring.
Overall, I would strongly recommend researchers from any stage at their career, but especially early career researchers (ECR), to visit UCD as part of the Coordinate TAV programme. I believe that the experiences, the networking and academic opportunities are very unique in the European space and are absolutely worth devoting time.