Marie-Curie Ambassador

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Being a Marie-Curie Ambassador

You already know that the MANNA Joint Doctoral project is a Marie-Skłodowska Curie Innovative Training Network funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Programme, but what you probably don’t know is that the ESRs, in addition to their PhD researches, will also be “Marie-Curie Ambassadors”, which is, in our opinion, a very important role.

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Being a Marie-Curie Ambassador probably means different things and it is not a well-defined role. In general terms, an ambassador is someone who represents a State and is usually accredited to another sovereign State or to an International organization as the resident representative of their own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ambassador). In a more simplistic way, an ambassador is someone who is known, without National appointment, to represent certain professions or activities. This second definition can be a good summary of which is the role we are thinking of. Our objectives are to be involved in events throughout Europe to present our works, discuss ideas, but most importantly make young people interested in science. Sometimes it is just a way to tell people, who are not aware, that there are lots of possibilities in Europe to be involved in major programmes, such as an ITN (Innovative Training Networks) in which MANNA is involved.

In addition to the importance of getting young people and students interested in joining an International career, it is fundamental to be in touch with different realities and institutions. Science must be open to everyone who is interested in it; this would result in better opportunities to exchange ideas with other researchers. They could also give advises and why not, share their ideas to improve your project. Speaking of science is not always easy, particularly when you are required to speak to people who are not really into your topic, but it is important to do; it is fundamental to involve new people that could become the new future early stage researchers.

The role of the ambassador is particularly important to shape the way you present your project in different situations. In fact, presenting in a summer school, in a conference or to undergraduate students required different strategies and it is not always easy to gain the attention of the audience. This is a really good training. Moreover, explaining projects to others always point out aspects that maybe were not so clear even to the speaker, and this can help in improving the project itself. In general, it is a really valuable practice to improve the communication skills, which is nowadays, one of the most required task.

Which is the future plan? Firstly, participate in congresses, summer schools and various conferences to talk about our projects in order to disseminate our works to other researchers. Secondly, give presentations in universities, schools and participate in other events such as “European researchers’ Night” where we will try to inspire the new generations by telling them which were our experiences, which are our actual research topics and most importantly why we love doing it!

Ambassadorship is a topic that we really care, and we are ready to begin this new adventure.

Written by Ruben Riosa