Brief description of the visit
I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, where I am a member of the project “Dynamics of adolescent attitudes towards outgroups”. In this project, my main role as a data manager as well as researcher, and my research topic is mental health and well-being.
My research visit to ISER at the University of Essex lasted for three weeks, from 26 June to 14 July, and my host was Dr. Cara Booker and Prof. Peter Lynn.
The project’s topic
During all three weeks, I was working on my project with the title “Investigating differences in adolescents' levels of well-being and mental health between natives and immigrants”. Each week, I had regular in-person meetings with my mentors. The first week was devoted to data preparation and cleaning and preparing the outline of the methodological research paper I will be writing with Prof. Peter Lynn. In the second week, I analysed the data and wrote the text of the research paper. In the third week, I participated in the Understanding Society conference and the preparatory workshop, which was the highlight of my research visit. In addition, I finalized a research paper.
As a result of my research visit, I have 1) a finalized methodological paper which was published at the beginning of October, 2) a plan for a second paper that I will be co-authoring with Dr. Cara Booker in the coming months, intending to submit next year, and 3) prepared data for analysis regarding the creation of targeted research protocols.
Engaging in further academic activities
From the beginning of my research visit, I was naturally involved in the regular activities at ISER. I had the opportunity to participate in regular seminars, workshops, and meetings. Specifically, I attended a MiSoc workshop, two lunchtime seminars, and departmental team meetings. Moreover, I shared an office with other visiting researchers with whom we had very inspiring formal and informal discussions.
Apart from the positive benefits of my research visit in terms of my scientific career, I spent three weeks in the beautiful small town of Wivenhoe, from which I walked along the River Colne to work every day. I also visited the seaside town of Clacton-on-Sea and, of course, the city of Colchester, with a very beautiful Castle Park. Every morning, I ran along the river and also on the campus.
Overall, based on my personal experience, I strongly recommend applying for the TAV Coordinate programme and visiting ISER at the University of Essex.