I’ve had such a great year! Academic life is great, I know. Sure, it is getting increasingly competitive, the hours can be long, and deadlines can impose decent amounts of pressure. But looking back at 2011, I realize how wonderful my academic year has been.
First of all, I have been able to travel a lot. I visited Gent, Luxembourg, Oslo, Leuven, Warsaw, and New York. I have good memories about all of these trips. In Gent I attended a conference, and had a great tour in the city. Luxembourg, strangely enough, took the most time to get there. I visited Oslo just a few days after the attacks. The number of roses on the street was still growing while I was there. Leuven hosted a QMSS summer school, where I met some very nice people. Warsaw was intense. I went there for a very nice collaboration, and we did the groundwork for an article in just one week. New York, finally, was so much more colorful than I expected. I look forward to going back there next year.
In the end, all this traveling is about sharing your work and getting it published. By now, a major journal has shown serious interest in publishing the manuscript that I presented at several of the conferences I attended. Another journal (a bit more low-key) might be interested in one of my side projects. I very much look forward to seeing some of my work in print. My next project, which I started working on in Warsaw, is already showing some interesting results, albeit preliminary. Nevertheless, with presenting this paper I won the best paper award at the Institute for Innovation and Governance Studies (IGS).
The PhD candidates of my university are organized in the PhD Network of the University of Twente (P-NUT). I decided to become a board member early this year. I’m having a good time, found myself amidst a nice new group of friends, and can contribute to the position of PhD candidates at our university. Our PhD Network has gone through some interesting developments towards a more professional organization, and it is interesting to see how strong our position has become. To make things even more interesting, the current board supports my candidacy for becoming the president of P-NUT next year!
All in all, with traveling, publishing, and political activities, I think academic life in 2011 has provided me with wonderful experiences. So, in many ways, thank you 2011. I look forward to 2012!