Royal Society University Research Fellow, University of York
Moving between countries and research groups throughout my career, I learned not to be afraid of change and to always be ready to adapt in new environments.
Dr Marina Petri is a nuclear physicist who was born in Greece but built her research career across Greece, the UK, the USA and Germany before returning to the UK in 2016 to take up a Royal Society University Research Fellowship at the University of York; "I moved countries to gain experience, widen my knowledge of the subject I am working on, be exposed to different working cultures, build my international scientific network, and challenge myself. Moving between countries and research groups throughout my career, I learned not to be afraid of change and to always be ready to adapt in new environments."
Marina feels her international experience has been highly positive. It takes time to be integrated into new research teams and during an initial period after every move researchers tend to be outside of their comfort zone within a new environment. This can be beneficial; “When you move countries, you are exposed to different ways of working. Having tasted the work ethics in different countries, an international researcher can blend the best out of each experience to create a working environment for their own group that is very attractive and productive.”
These changes have also had a positive effect on Marina personally, both in the workplace and in life. Marina feels she has a broader perspective on what she is pursuing in her research and is not afraid to try different approaches that she is not familiar with; “When arriving in a different culture you need to adapt to survive, sometimes even learning a new language. As a result, you take nothing for granted."
Marina recommends mobility to young researchers; "Mobility is the best way to develop new collaborations and join different research groups. I was lucky to have experienced this first hand. Every move I made represented career development. Mobility is being appreciated by employers as an asset and this is reflected in my career trajectory. I now have a strong international network of collaborators across America, Europe, Asia, and Africa."