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Research visit to NIDI – exploring new research opportunities and perspectives

Updated: 4 days ago

My name is Antonela Čižmešija and I am a teaching assistant at the Faculty of Organization and Informatics at the University of Zagreb. I am currently completing my PhD in the field of Information Sciences.

In March 2024, I had the opportunity to conduct a research visit at the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI). The NIDI is a research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and is affiliated with the University of Groningen (RUG).

During my two-week visit, I had the opportunity to meet researchers at the NIDI and learn more about working with large datasets. The dataset that interested me the most in the COORDINATE project was GGP: Generations and Gender Program. GGP provides researchers and policymakers with freely accessible survey and contextual data that allows comparisons between countries and over time. The GGP covers a wide range of topics relevant to demographic behaviour, with a particular focus on intergenerational and gender relations. The leader of the project is Prof. Dr. Anne Gauthier.

During my two-week stay, I first got to know the GGP team and colleagues. The next step was to familiarize myself with the structure of the Gender and Generation Survey, including the available data sets from wave II of the data survey.

I paid particular attention to the group of NEETs – people who are not in education, employment or training. As data was not yet available for Croatia, I chose to analyse data from three countries: Denmark, Estonia and Moldova. I then selected variables of interest to the research area (NEETs), including variables related to employment, well-being, happiness, depression and loneliness. After extensive data cleaning, correlation and regression analyses were conducted to identify statistically significant predictors of happiness in the NEETs groups. In addition, an ANOVA was conducted to identify statistically significant differences between the three selected countries.

During my research stay, I had the unique opportunity to work with large data sets. After presenting my preliminary research findings, I received valuable feedback for future studies in the field. These insights will be crucial as I plan to conduct analyses for Croatia once the data is available. In addition, I gained important skills in conducting large-scale data collection on large samples and learned from the data experts at NIDI how to organize/deal with large datasets for further analysis.

To summarize, I can say that my research stay within the COORDINATE project has significantly broadened my research knowledge in various areas. This experience is invaluable for my future development in research, especially with regard to my special interest in the NEET population and their integration into society and the labour market, which is particularly crucial for the development of digital skills through various training programs.

I am very grateful to the entire team at NIDI GGP for the warm welcome during my two-week stay and for generously sharing their knowledge and experience during the meetings and discussions. I also had the opportunity to meet with other researchers currently visiting NIDI on the TAV program, providing an excellent networking opportunity.

Coming primarily from an IT background, it was very interesting to gain a new perspective on research that deals with specific groups of people. I look forward to new research opportunities in the future. This research visit was also a great opportunity for me to explore the wonderful Den Hague which was sunny for most days during my stay.


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