Yesterday I submitted my proposal for becoming a Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow. So if everything goes as hoped I will be collaborating with Prof. Christoph Schalley group in Free University of Berlin from the next schoolyear. My project there will be about supramolecular chemistry, more precisely on rotaxanes and molecular machines based on rotaxanes. It will introduce me a whole new world of opportunities that exist in supramolecular chemistry. I am really excited about this stay, though it is not certain jet.
I would like to comment on some things that I have learned about myself and about applying during this process. First of all, few years ago I was sure I never want to go to post-doc. There were several reasons. I had my aims that could at that moment of time be fulfilled here in University of Tartu. This has changed, I feel the need to learn some new tricks to reach higher, to be more effective and to widen my collaboration circle. Secondly I have always been very keen on my family. My stay in Helsinki during my doctorate thought me that far away from home (alone) can be somewhat depressing. Though I have grown and also Tauri is now able to come with me to Berlin, so this hard part can be handled. I am really grateful that Tauri is willing to take this effort for my dreams and take a break in his career.
Actually the fact that this proposal is now submitted sounded unrealistic to me in April. Everyone who had either applied for MSC or had heard anything about it told that it is very-very-very (I should probably but an exponent here) hard. And to be honest the form itself also felt quite complicated in the first place. But as the discussion with Prof. Schalley went further a plan that I felt comfortable with was put together and then it wasn’t that complicated to put it down on paper. I am also very thankful to everyone who helped me during this period – starting from discussions on the topic down to taking up some of my duties so that I would have a bit more time to focus on the proposal. Thank you all very much!
What I would like to say to everyone who will be applying to MSC or something similar, even though it seems hard in some point, writing the proposal can really help you. During this period I have written to numerous people I did not even know about before, aiming to gain some information (mostly about how things will be organized in FU when I start my fellowship). And though it seemed a bit weird to me in the first place that I am asking people about things that are not even certain jet, I started feeling must more confident about the success of my stay. Due to these interactions, I hope, I have a more realistic picture what happens when I arrive in Berlin. Which on the other hand has made me feel that it is a right thing to do and I really want to do it.
Another important thing is the influence I have already had. During writing this project I have to admit I read more papers then probably during the whole year before. Which, in the beginning seemed like an ocean, but though I still probably haven’t read a fraction of papers related to my topic in Berlin I have already found a lot of interesting stuff that also is related to my tasks (scientific and partially also teaching) today. And these came up from the papers I would have never been searching from.
I will keep my fingers crossed until the time results of this proposal will become available (Feb 2016).