Category Archives: Going Abroad (Staff)

Researchers, teachers and other staff members from UEF who are or have been abroad share their experiences and adventures.

Faces of Côte d’Azur

It is not only the countless natural and cultural treasures of the French Riviera that entices people to visit this region, but in addition to the prestigious festivals of Antibes and Cannes there is an increasing number of international conferences that brings thousands to this sunshine empire, the world-famous capital of Côte d’Azur,Nice. Nice’s “bohemian” district is crowded with VIP luxury shops: Vuitton, Chanel, Cartier… whereas the old town offers a multitude of historic mosaic pieces. Around the thousand-coloured walls enclosing the narrow alleys, the white window frames and arcades, adventure seekers can breathe a particular atmosphere. Near Place Masséna, Acropolis Convention Center can be found in this Janus-faced environment where from the laboratory associated with the name of Professor Kai Kaarniranta I had the chance to deliver a presentation at the EVER Conference as a returning participant to demonstrate our most recent results also published in Redox Biology (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213231718306050?via%3Dihub ). Owing to the vicinity of the place (our accommodation was near the old town) and for my own curiosity, I visited the port of Nice on a few occasions, as well as the “la promenade des 100 antiquaires”, “the promenade of 100 antique traders”, where I had a real “kirputtori” feeling, I could immerse in a quest for truly desired “treasures”. While the agenda of the EVER Conference (www.ever.be) was highly tense, and I would not claim myself to be a real “conference tourist”, I still perceived the call of the unique and many-coloured Maritime Alps, lying just a short hour away – besides, obviously, the deservedly famous beaches of Nice, which always dazzle the strollers in the promenade –, and therefore on a leisure afternoon I hit the road to unveil the natural beauties of the mountains near Côte d’Azur alongside the cultural and architectural traditions of the small villages I passed by during this short (30–40 km) trip. By showing you the photos taken in these places, let me share some of the images reflecting the two kinds of faces of Côte d’Azur: both grandeur, gleam and undisturbed nature.

 

Szabolcs Felszeghy

Sadan päivän tutkimusmatka

Hyvä lukija, kerron tässä blogissa Yhdysvaltojen Pensylvaniaan sijoittuvasta tutkimusvaihdosta tammi-maaliskuun aikana. Suomi 100 -teeman sopien matkan kesto on; mitä muutakaan kuin sata päivää! Toivon blogista apua erityisesti sellaiselle henkilölle, joka pohtii ulkomaan tutkijavaihtoa, mutta ei oikein tiedä mistä aloittaisi valmistelut. Tervetuloa mukaan seuraamaan matkaani!

Kuka?

Nimi: Saara Sillanmäki
Koulutus: LL, tohtorikoulutettava ja kliiniseen fysiologiaan ja isotooppilääketieteeseen erikoistuva lääkäri
Kotipaikka: Kuopio
Perhe: Puoliso Tero ja Ninja koira

Continue reading Sadan päivän tutkimusmatka

Mon échange Erasmus+ au Maroc

Fin 2015, quand on m’a sollicité pour demander si un séjour au Maroc pourrait m’intéresser, je me suis dit : « Pourquoi pas ? » L’année universitaire de 2015–2016 étant très chargée, il fallait seulement fixer, puis aménager un créneau un peu plus avancé dans le temps. Une autre chose à prendre en considération était l’emplacement du Ramadan, les activités dans une société musulmane telle que l’est celle du Maroc se transformant et se ralentissant lors de ce mois de jeûne. Le déplacement a finalement eu lieu du 15 au 22 mai 2017.

Continue reading Mon échange Erasmus+ au Maroc

Holidays are not always happy days…

Preface

As an anatomist-morphologist, during my everyday research, I often become inspired by the unique and characteristic colors and shapes of microscopic structures and I have been dealing with photography – as a bobby, mainly nature photography – for more than a decades. I believe that fastidious nature photography does not merely require (and for me, this is indeed not a prerequisite) state-of-the-art technique (images show below taken with SMART phone); what it really requires is much patience to inspire shapes, compositions, lights and shadows that albeit may have been seen by others, yet have not been analyzed in detail. The title of my present blog is “ With the power of images… “. Images shown below were transient moments at Bükk, Hungary extended by the camera of my Samsung phone, when I visited my parents. The dramatic effect of well-chosen moments after a blizzard swept may give rise to novel feelings and thoughts even in you about the catastrophe has happened in in Central Europe including Hungary, as well. Continue reading Holidays are not always happy days…

Old dog learning new tricks

So your postdoctoral research is over – years ago, and you feel that you still want to learn new directions to your research. Well, longish research visits do not have to be past life – it might be time to a new visit to foreign university! That was just what happened to me. I decided to get new skills in chemical ecology, and decided to get it from the University of California Berkeley, just a side of San Francisco. Fulbright Finland has just perfect grant option for this kind of trips: Fulbright Finland grant for research collaboration. The funding is aimed for visits from one week to three months. For me five weeks was possible, and luckily, I got the grant. Continue reading Old dog learning new tricks

Research ethics in practice during fieldwork and in research collaboration

Last autumn, I had the pleasure of doing fieldwork among lawyers in Montreal during my 3.5 months-long research visit at Teluq/University of Quebec. I went there as a postdoctoral researcher working on a grant so I used my own equipment (i.e. computer, mobile phone, recorder). While this research visit was a wonderful experience both professionally and personally, it was then when I fully realized how much responsibility in terms of the security of the research data and equipment I carry when working abroad and particularly when doing a fieldwork in a foreign country. This involves for example file encryption, protection of data connections, administration of access rights, processing and handling of confidential information as well as archiving and destroying of documents. I was encouraged by my colleagues to share some of my experiences as the issue might be relevant for other researchers who are planning a mobility period.

Research ethics during fieldwork

In my own fieldwork, the issue of handling of confidential information and research data, file encryption and protection of data connections became particularly relevant. Firstly, the fieldwork involved interviewing some people who knew each other and who sometimes recommended each other to me for an interview (i.e. snowball sampling). While the interviewees can contact each other to discuss the interview, I had to be particularly careful not to confirm or deny the interviewees’ inquiries whether I have met their colleagues. Otherwise, I would violate the issue of confidentiality. Continue reading Research ethics in practice during fieldwork and in research collaboration

Erasmus+ North-South Visit to Agadir

In April 2016, I had the pleasure of visiting one of our partner universities, Ibn Zohr University in Agadir, Morocco, under the auspices of the ERASMUS+ Global Mobility Program. As the first UEF teacher participating in the Program, this visit provided many new experiences and enhanced my understanding of higher education in the region. It was even more pleasurable to visit the university and its new Ait Melloul campus as my host was Dr Kamal Sbiri, an UEF alumnus who is now Assistant Professor of English and the Director of the Charif Al Idrissi Research Center on Transnational Migration.

My visit consisted of a series of guest lectures on postcolonial hybridities with particular reference to Anglophone Arab literature and cultural theory. The topics were selected to stimulate the staff and students by introducing current perspectives and research trends. The issues of global mobility, migration, and cultural encounters are also central to the research profiles at both universities, which offers further collaboration opportunities. The lectures were well attended and they were followed with particularly lively discussions and questions from the floor. Issues of migration are central to contemporary Morocco, both because of traditional labour migration to Europe but also because the routes of contemporary sub-Saharan migration towards the North pass through the nation. Borders and border-crossings are then a part of everyday experience, evident in the number of forced migrants in towns like Agadir. Continue reading Erasmus+ North-South Visit to Agadir

Why in Ohio?

“I actually changed my college. I left my first one and came here. Ohio University is a better place. Here, people are friendly. This is more like at home.”

    –  Alexis, second-year student, Social and Communication studies

Ohio University has been ranked first in the nation for overall student satisfaction, based on a survey ranking more than 600 colleges and universities in the U.S. Ohio University has enthusiastically worked for a student community that feels like home. This is confirmed by several family-engaging activities, such as parents’ and siblings’ weekends, during the semester as well as Bobcats athletic events on campus.

Ohio University is located in the Appalachian foothills of southeastern Ohio. Its historical and astonishingly naturally beautiful campus makes students’ stay very comfortable. Walking the brick walkways of the very hilly and tree-lined campus makes students and faculty feel like they’re staying at a small college rather than a large university. Meanwhile, the distances are short, and the campus is very compact. Campus routes are busy, when more than 23,000 students head to their classes. Continue reading Why in Ohio?

Why on the Move?

One of the key objectives of the Finnish universities is to reach a high international level in rankings. Several indicators for achieving this status have been determined, but clearly the main door is opened with the help of impactful and scientifically relevant collaboration. This sounds like an easy problem to be solved. Academics travel to conferences and meet colleagues, and they have good access to virtual communication. They have plenty of opportunities to join international research groups. However, all researchers are not on the top in this sense. We may need to work more and especially work more with our international collaborators.  Again, an easy task! Let’s go abroad!

Currently, several associations provide a variety of possibilities to apply for research scholarships for longer and shorter periods, but faculties nevertheless suffer from low staff mobility rates. I do not know the reasons behind this accurately, but I would like to shortly review the advantages and to encourage all academics to get on the move!

Colleagues often claim that there is an increasing number of digital tools to keep in touch with fellows abroad, and to work with shared documents across the world. This is correct and evidently makes our work easier. However, alongside the vital research needs, to become an international researcher, we need a wide and strong network of contacts having a good understanding of cultural and local priorities. By obtaining a good understanding of the academic and everyday life of our collaborators, we may strengthen our status as persons to be taken seriously. In addition, as important as how many fellows we know in different countries, is how well we are known within academic communities. Becoming actively visible in several ways is a significant part of our international growth, for every one of us! Continue reading Why on the Move?

On the move… and college sports in the USA

Now, for a Finn with some enthusiasm of sports in general, participating college sports is an experience. My great hosts here in Nebraska took me to a college football game in Lincoln of the Huskers (GO BIG RED!) and ice hockey game of UNO Mavericks (GO MAVERICKS!). What makes the games here so unbelievable is the crowd and settings. In the Huskers’ football game we had about 90000 people in the Memorial Stadium and the new Mavericks’ Baxter arena fits almost 8000 people in it. In addition to that, these games have other side activities going on, e.g. a huge band in the Huskers game. So, if you are on the move in the US, go to these college sports games! Continue reading On the move… and college sports in the USA