And finally, the time has come for all the ESRs, supervisors and project management team to meet.
Just a few days ago, on the 13th and 14th of this month, the 1st Network Meeting of PROTECTED took place at the beautiful Queen’s University Belfast.

Two wonderfully busy days, full of presentations, meetings, workshops and of course social events, like the lovely dinner we had at Molly’s yard.

After the opening of the project meeting and welcome from the project coordinator, Dr Lisa Connolly, it was the ESRs turn to give a brief presentation about their projects. It was so interesting to hear more about each project, and I have seriously realized how broad and varied the PROTECTED network is.

As ESRs, we also had out first committee meeting, where we elected two members to represent us at the supervisory board and also discussed various topics and gave suggestions to improve our experience.

We had introduction training about business by Dr Van der Burg. We are going to develop business ideas and plans, working in small groups. This is going to be challenging, as many of us have never thought about it, but it is also really important to develop a new set of skills. Moreover, Prof Moira Dean delivered a lecture on Risk Communication, followed by the practical exercise of realizing a poster for general public.

2018 is going to be a year full of events. We will meet again soon in Belfast for the ASSET Conference—one of the themes is “Human exposure to chemical cocktails present in foods”—and for our first summer school.

This first meeting made me even happier and more grateful for the opportunity of being part of this amazing project.

And to end my first article for the blog, I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year sharing with you our first ESRs’ selfie!

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