I just returned to the Netherlands, after having lived in New York for three months. I was in New York to do research for my PhD thesis, and to experience academic life in a totally different setting. It was such a great experience – I would even dare to say that for me it was life-changing in several ways – that I decided to share some thoughts on my experiences. For the next two weeks, I plan to publish a total of 10 short blogs about my impressions on the (academic) life in New York.
As said, the main reason I was in New York was to do research. Since my thesis is about the effectiveness of family policies, I wanted to work with an expert on this topic. It is difficult to think of someone who is more knowledgeable on this topic, and more experienced in doing high quality empirical studies, than prof. Janet Gornick. I was very enthusiastic that she agreed with me visiting her in New York for a couple of months, and that she was willing to supervise me, as well as to co-author a paper. Moreover, Janet Gornick is also the director of LIS (formerly known as the Luxembourg Income Studies).
LIS is a cross-national data center, located in Luxembourg.
LIS is home to the Luxembourg Income Study Database and the Luxembourg Wealth Study Database. These databases contain harmonised microdata from high- and middle-income countries around the world.
Their mission is to
… to enable, facilitate, promote, and conduct cross-national comparative research on socio-economic outcomes and on the institutional factors that shape those outcomes.
Basically, this means that the LIS is a remarkably valuable source of data for my thesis, which is inherently country-comparative in design. And, indeed, the LIS proved to be a very detailed, well documented, and very carefully harmonized source of data. To work with these data, together with the director of LIS, was an inspiring experience. Moreover, the graduate center of the City University of New York (CUNY) invited me over as an Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC) Fellow, which was a great honor.
The Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC) is the focal point of the collaborative research activities of the Graduate Center. It promotes interdisciplinary research, partners with GC Research Centers, Institutes and Interdisciplinary Committees, connects the research activities of CUNY faculty at the Colleges to GC research programs and seminars, and provides a home for outstanding visiting scholars to collaborate with faculty and students.