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Research in the City of Lights

My name is Sara Ponce, I am a PhD student getting my degree in Children and Youth Studies at University College Dublin. I am from America originally, where I obtained a bachelor's degree in psychology and a masters degree in child and adolescent development. I found myself drawn to the Emerald Isle to deepen my understanding of child development in a research focused degree and in a European context. Coming from a practitioner background in early childhood education and care, I felt there was vast potential to understand child development from a different perspective that worked to solve issues of inequality within the educational system.

I organised my stay in early May, just as the trees were blooming, spring had definitely sprung in the enchanting city of Paris. Upon arrival at INED I was greeted and given a tour of the building that had student artwork from the study adorning the walls. I was then introduced to my very supportive supervisor Jean-Louis Lanoe, who was absolutely a pleasure to work with. The INED team as a whole was extremely welcoming and eager to help or discuss my projects development. I was able to talk through research plans and develop concept maps with various members of the team while also discussing methodology and research design. My project title is ‘Early Childhood Sleep and Screen Time Impact on Social Emotional Regulation in Kindergarten School Children’.


To develop my skills as a researcher I could not pass up the exciting opportunity to apply for TAV. I did not know what to expect or to what skill level my current research abilities needed to be at. However, I was assured by supervisors and colleagues that this was an experience that would only serve as enrichment. I chose INED in Paris due to the rich data set and specific survey on children in kindergarten which aligns with my interests in early childhood education and care. I was absolutely delighted when my application was accepted!


I was lucky enough to bring along my mom, we celebrated her birthday while in Paris and indulged in Parisian culture. My overall experience was nothing short of superb! I cannot thank TAV enough for providing such an excellent experience for researchers.


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