Becoming an ESR during COVID 

My experience of becoming an Early-Stage Researcher and moving to the UK during pandemic.

I had my first interview for the vacant position within the Marie Curie Sklodowska Action – SCENT project on the 30th of November; some days later I received an email from the University of Nottingham stating the positive outcome. I was euphoric and could not believe that I would have been back to the University of Nottingham where I was a visiting master's student some months before. I started to get in touch with people from the University of Nottingham and from the SCENT project which helped me to sort out paperwork for my successful induction to the project. At the same time, I started to prepare everything you need to travel: applied for an Italian passport, get a covid test and prepared my suitcase. All this has been quite stressful. There was a lot of uncertainty around my covid test as I could have been positive and this would have conditioned my departure. Finally, I was able to move to the UK, the first thing I was impressed by was the International St. Pancreas station which was empty. I felt like in an apocalyptic film. In fact, in my head, it was clear the image of a lively and vital London. 

Empty apocalyptic St. Pancreas Station

Once I got to Nottingham, I was obliged to quarantine for 10 days in a hotel and tried to organize my days doing useful work, cooking and some workout because as the saying goes in latin “Mens sana in corpore sano”. In this way, my days were less boring than I could imagine. Another important question that kept me engaged was the “house problem” because I had a small delay in receiving it due to covid. In conclusion, becoming an early stage researcher during this difficult time was a dynamic experience and full of small challenges I tried to face day by day.

First proper dinner after settling down in the UK

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