As part of the RENPET Network Residency, I have been at Sabancı University Istanbul to work with Prof Dr Senem Aydin-Duzgit on one of the articles of my PhD project, starting from December 2022 to February 2023. This was my first research fellowship, and I was very curious and excited to have the opportunity. I would like to indicate that UACES and RENPET were very understanding and fast throughout the process.
One of the best parts of the fellowship was being in a vibrant research environment at Sabancı University. Throughout the process, I had the opportunity to exchange ideas with other PhD researchers working in my field and build solidarity that is still ongoing. Part of my visit also intersected with another RENPET Network Resident and I had the opportunity to make helpful connections. The faculty management organized a quick conference for us which was a great surprise and honour. This conference enabled me to present my research to respected academics from Sabanci University and received constructive feedback. Additionally, I had the chance to attend several workshops and seminars held at the university, which helped me broaden my knowledge and gain valuable insights into several research fields. Therefore, my time in Istanbul was comprehensive and multidisciplinary at every minute.
I benefitted from working with Prof Dr Senem Aydin-Duzgit at Sabanci University as I had the opportunity to meet with her regularly, get feedback on my paper, and discuss research questions and technical details about the research design. In our first meeting, we discussed what we mutually expect from this process, set realistic goals for what we can achieve in 2 months, and created a schedule of meetings. Beyond that, my conversations with Dr Aydin-Duzgit were inspiring for an aspiring researcher. During our meetings, we had the opportunity to talk about the article we were working on, and many issues related to academia and research processes. Furthermore, in my conversations with Prof Aydin-Duzgit, I received a lot of tips that I will probably apply throughout the entire research process.
In summary, it has been a deeply beneficial residency for me and my research process. Maybe I could have found a way to meet Prof Dr Senem Aydin-Duzgit online without RENPET, but in this process, I realized how important it is to be physically present in the research environment and part of a community. Formal and informal interactions have left traces that will affect and shape my current research and my entire career. Finally, as one of the first graduates of the RENPET Network Residencies, I would like to thank the RENPET Network, Prof Dr Senem Aydin-Duzgit, Sabancı University, and UACES for this opportunity. The bursary was extremely generous, and all potential expenses were covered, including my travel costs. I recommend every researcher who meets the conditions to benefit from this outstanding opportunity to apply for this opportunity. You can be sure that you will have a precious and helpful experience!
The RENPET network invites applications from PhD students and Early-Career Researchers (within 5 years of their PhD) working in EU Foreign Policy, EU external relations or related fields to apply for bursaries to support an extended residency (2-3 months) at one of the network institutions. Find out more on the RENPET website. Apply for a residency via the UACES website. The deadline for the 2023-2024 RENPET residencies is 30 April 2023.