Expanding collaborations: international mobility grants awarded to three FIRE PhD candidates

©Quentin Chevrier - Learning Planet Institute

Every year, Université Paris Cité is awarding several PhD candidates with international mobility grants (Bourses doctorales de mobilité internationale). For 2022, three FIRE PhD candidates will receive financial support for a professional stay abroad, which will enrich their research, expand their scientific network and strengthen connections between French and international laboratories.

Chiara Figazzolo is a 3rd-year PhD candidate at Institut Pasteur. She will spend one month in the School of Biomedical Sciences at University of Hong Kong to perform a fundamental part of her biochemistry research. She will then bring back to her lab the expertise acquired there, as well as her knowledge of the international start-ups ecosystem in her field of study.

Kseniia Konishcheva is supervised by Ariel Lindner [Research Director] in the research team hosted at Learning Planet Institute. For her project dedicated to the assessment of individuals’ mental health, she will spend 6 months of her 2nd year of PhD within the Child Mind Institute in New York City, in order to deploy the tools she has already developed with the researchers and clinicians there.

Antoine Levrier is also supervised by Ariel Lindner and aims at setting up a cotutelle with the University of Minnesota, where he is co-supervised in the School of Physics andAstronomy. That is where he plans to stay for 5 months at the end of his 1st-year of PhD. In addition to reinforcing the collaboration, he will perform experiments on phages (viruses able to destroy bacteria).

The FIRE Doctoral School has a student-centered approach and supports PhD candidates to become well-rounded young researchers. We value such initiatives of international collaborations, made possible here through these University mobility grants, as the experience also goes beyond science. It is also an occasion to discover new places and countries together with enlarging cultural horizons, as highlighted by applicants stating what they are the most impatient to do: “What are you the most impatient to do there, for both professional and personal aspects?”.

Chiara: “I’m thrilled to join the lab of Julian Tanner, one of our most long-standing collaborators and great expert in the field of aptamers. I’m so eager to get to explore the history and culture of Hong Kong.”

Kseniia: “To collaborate with my colleagues in person, instead of through Zoom, and eat a New York-style pizza!”

Antoine: “Understand how viruses could interact with synthetic cells… and visit Minnesota's 10,000 lakes.”

Article: Camille Gaulon, Scientific and Pedagogic Coordinator of the FIRE PhD program

Photo credits: ©Quentin Chevrier - Learning Planet Institute