Wrapping up House Poetics and some thoughts on MSCA

Summer 2019

The House Poetics project is coming to an end by September 2019. It’s been a blast of two years, gone in what seemed a breath! I am preparing the reports, and even though I have moaned extensively about having to do this (see my twitter feed @mariarelaki), they are actually so valuable for making you realise what and how much you have achieved in the space of these two years. There’s plenty more that I have not had the time to post here on the work done, but the webpage will continue to be updated beyond the official end of the project; after all, we never solve all the issues, and good research creates more questions than provides answers. But I wanted to finish by writing a short note on the experience of taking up the Marie Sklowdowska-Curie fellowship.

Having applied for more opportunities than I care to count, one thing that was different about this particular research funding was its focus on nurturing and developing the researcher at the core of the work. The freedom to choose, design and implement a project is phenomenal and not generally matched by other funding opportunities. Provided that you find a good match in your host, you are able to pretty much do anything anywhere! And, something so important to me having had a round-about-sort-of career (having kids early, getting locked on teaching contracts only, unable to move around following post-doc positions), it does not have an age limit! And it shouldn’t! We all deserve to keep learning, training ourselves and developing as we go through life. It should not stop at 5 or 10 years after your PhD. In addition to that, the MSCA fellowship does not treat research expenses as a luxury, but as a necessity that is fundamental for the development of any researcher. It is only right that researchers should be provided with adequate resources to do their research as part of the funding given to a project, and not as an afterthought or a perk; it is not a gift, it is essential.

So, as I mutter and moan trying to make one, last, deadline, here’s to you MSCA, may you long continue to support scholars of all shapes and colours! Cheers!