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The beginning of something special: My three weeks in The Hague at NIDI

My name is Fernanda Fortes de Lena. I’m a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics in Barcelona. I am currently part of a larger ERC grant project called “Inequalities of Opportunities for Sexual Minorities,” coordinated by Diederik Boertien. My research focuses on internal migration, labor market outcomes, and family formation within the LGBTQ+ population. Recently, I have been concentrating on understanding the different ways of measuring sexual minorities across various cultural contexts.


I decided to apply for the Coordinate Transnational Access Visit (TAV) program because I had initially been part of a group of researchers that submitted a proposal for the inclusion of a sexual orientation question in the new round of the Gender and Generations Survey (GGS). Therefore, I knew that the GGS was the best choice for conducting my research. I was delighted to have been given the opportunity to spend three weeks at the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI), where I was able to be in close contact with the Gender and Generations Population team. My aim with this research visit was to develop a study regarding the use of data on same-sex couples in the new round of the Gender and Generations Survey (GGS).


During my first week at NIDI, I had meetings with researchers Lin Rouvroye, Yuxuan Jin, and Maaike van der Vleuten, who had experience in the theme I was working on. This gave me insight into the limitations of the datasets and prepared me for the challenges I would face while working with this type of data. During my stay at NIDI, I had the opportunity to participate in seminars and meetings with other researchers from the center. We engaged in fruitful conversations related to the GGS and its differences across various countries.


During my stay in The Hague, I enjoyed the city and its many sights. If you have the possibility of renting a bike, I recommend doing so because it is definitely the best way to get around the city and visit the beach and other neighboring cities. Additionally, I visited some museums in Amsterdam and took a trip to Utrecht. The short distances within the country make it easy to travel to many places.


Furthermore, during my time at NIDI, I connected with other researchers in the TAV program with diverse interests and backgrounds. It was fascinating to learn about different researchers that I might not have otherwise encountered. As an early career researcher, I believe these opportunities are unique and important for broadening our horizons.


I would like to thank the Coordinate TAV program for giving me the opportunity to work on a project that is a significant step toward making more people aware of the usability of the GGS regarding same-sex couples. Learning from the GGP team was fundamental to the improvement of my work. Although my time in The Hague went by quickly, I gained so much from this experience. I would also like to thank everyone at NIDI, especially the GGP team, for making my stay special. I strongly recommend applying for the TAV program, and NIDI is an excellent place for such a visit.


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