Being part of a TEAM

By Claudette Pretorius
Wednesday, 19th July 2017
Filed under: ESRBlog

The first few weeks as an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) on TEAM have definitely not been dull.

I am based at ReachOut Ireland, an Irish  health promotion website for young people whilst registered as a PhD student with UCD. There are numerous opportunities associated with being placed at ReachOut including: having access to local networks that focus on youth mental health; direct access to resources that inform my research as well as expert input. The greatest benefit however is being able to be part of a team. The experience of being a member of the ReachOut team has been invaluable to me; not only professionally but personally.

Many of the ESR’s, including myself, have had to move country in order to pursue their PhD and project. As exciting as this is, it can also be quite daunting. It’s not only navigating your way through a new research project but also through a new university, city, country and culture. As exciting as all these new settings are, it does help to have some support and guidance to help you on your way. I feel my transition has been made all the easier by being part of the ReachOut team and has made my experience much less lonely than I think it could have been.

I am doubly lucky as I am also part of the TEAM ITN, a network of ESR’s all working on different projects related to youth mental health. The opportunity to discuss experiences and ideas with peers will be a key element to the success of our research projects.

Being apart of these two teams has played a positive role in my mental health and well-being. These first few weeks have flown by and I can’t imagine having had a better start to this experience."

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