Luís Novo, Researcher and head of the Laboratory of Experimental and Applied Phytotechnologies (LEAPH) - Department of Geosciences of University of Aveiro, visited the Ecological and Forestry Applications Research Centre of the Autonomous University of Barcelona in November 2018. He used the ECIU Research Mobility Fund to join forces with the Protecsols group coordinated by Professor Josep-Maria Alcañiz, in the context of phytoremediation and phytomining projects.
When I first learnt about the ECIU mobility award, I couldn’t help thinking “here’s a cool way to fund a trip overseas and hopefully set in motion a new partnership”. Surely, I was not wrong, but it was also so much more than that.
The application process itself was quite straightforward. There was no red tape involved and the results turnaround time was incredibly fast – I was notified only three weeks after submission!
After a warm welcome by my hosts from the Ecological and Forestry Applications Research Centre at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, I was immediately immersed in several activities that had been carefully planned ahead of my arrival. The numerous field trips, group meetings, and seminars, certainly helped us aligning our interests, resources, and capabilities, taking the collaboration further than original expected. We are now actively involved in two different projects and pursuing new opportunities through joint applications to major research funding schemes.
Since my visit, we have been in constant touch to keep track of ongoing experiments, discuss results, and prepare cooperative publications. Moreover, we already have new field measurements in Catalonia lined up, as well as concerted conference presentations. Needless to say, the partnership has also helped nurturing a solid friendship.
To sum up, the award has granted me the possibility of working with top-tier scientists from a world-class institution, boosting my professional and personal growth.
ECIU is committed to ensure that its researchers are connected across member universities, by offering opportunities for collaborative research. In this context, the ECIU has adopted a Research Mobility Fund, aiming at increasing mobility amongst its researchers.