Friederike Mey is a PhD student at Marjan de Mey’s laboratory at the University of Ghent, and she chose the University of Edinburgh as her destination for the BioRoboost exchange programme. Here is what the experience was like:
I heard about BioRooost via my supervisor, who is part of the network. Needless to say, the opportunity to work with another international team on how standardization – or the lack hereof – can affect supposedly uniform protocols spoke to me immediately. It was always very enriching to work with people from different backgrounds and this exchange allowed me to illuminate internationality from a more systematic angle. I chose to go to Edinburgh and was amazed not only by the kindness of my host lab group under Filippo Melolascina, but also the city has been a blast. After all, even a successful and interesting week of work leads to weekend and Edinburgh has everything to offer I could have wished for! I knew the city from a weekend-tourist point of view and now I know for sure that I could easily live there. I also explored the Scottish Highlands and England’s Lake District in my weekends, the area just has so much to offer!
Working so intensely on the topic of standardization was a first for me, and I learned a great deal about its importance. It even affected my own work back home, where I decided to create room for the topic of standardization in my own projects. The work for BioRoboost included approaches that were new to me, such as the diary of observations. This enables new perspectives and made getting to know my colleagues really fun – which started from the utterly British absence of coffee in the entire building, forcing me to adapt to Earl Grey black tea with milk. I warmly remember this experience and wish everyone else who embarks on the exchange a very enjoyable stay!