Blog & Updates

January 10, 2023

Our experiences after a year of SURREAL - Marzieh (ESR11)

12 months ago, many of our Early Stage Researchers joined the SURREAL project and we are eager to share their most important experiences to date.

Every week, an ESR will provide a mini update by answering the 4 questions below. Hopefully, this will give you some insight into their most important first year experiences.

12 months on…:

  • What is the most interesting thing you’ve learnt?
  • The hardest task you have come across?
  • The most fun experience within SURREAL?
  • How has your research impacted your daily life?

This week, it's up to Marzieh to take us through her experiences of moving to and working in Luxembourg.

Where: Luxembourg Institute of Socioeconomic Research, Urban development and mobility Department 
When: Started in November 2021 

What is the most interesting thing you have learnt?

"Moving abroad for the first time and starting to work in a completely new environment was very challenging but taught me how powerful and independent I can be.  As a work-related thing, I’ve learned how to do a systematic review which is quite complex since you have to critically assess each study, synthesize the findings from individual studies in an unbiased manner, and present a balanced important summary of findings."

Here I'm testing the new VR lab that we built at LISER

The hardest task you have come across?

"Starting a new experimental lab from the ground up was the most challenging task so far although it was super exciting. It was so challenging to calibrate and synchronize the walking simulator and Virtual Reality headset in order to minimize the risk of cybersickness."

The most fun experience within SURREAL?

"Our first Network School in Utrecht! It was a great opportunity to meet other ESRs from different cultures and backgrounds and get to know them better."

Magical colors on my first day at the University of Luxembourg

How has your research impacted your daily life?

"I am more conscious and simultaneously curious about environmental attributes which might affect my physical activity behavior in urban areas! I am making an effort to pay closer attention to my surroundings and be more aware of the things that can have an impact on my stress levels."

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