MSCA Satellite Event 2018

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The last 7th-8th of July took place in Toulouse a meeting for the Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions (MSCA) fellows. This Satellite Event, organized by the European Commission, was held as a preparation for the European Science Open Forum (ESOF). Taking advantage of my current location in Barcelona, as a part of my secondment at UPC, I decided to be present in the representation of the AdMoRe ITN project.

As many of the 200 attendants arrived on Saturday, a visit to Airbus was organized in several groups. Here, we had the opportunity to visit the testing facilities of the Final Assembly Line for the Airbus A380 (double-deck model). As you can imagine, this model is so huge that most of the components that are manufactured at Airbus facilities across Europe cannot be transported by air, therefore, their shipment is a challenging logistic project itself and the components are sent to Toulouse by land, sea, and river [1].

Following the motto of the MSCA program “Life-Long Training”, the next day (Sunday), the event continued with a presentation of the future online training platform for the fellows. The idea of the European Commission is to provide tools to the researchers to improve their skills, give visibility to our research projects and help us in our career development. It will be a collaborative place to exchange ideas among fellows. A beta version for this web will be released next September.

Then, the next topic of the day was “How to engage with policymakers”. Sometimes, as researchers, we are too focused on the technical side of our work, however, it is important to communicate our results not only for the research community but also to policymakers in order to have a bigger and positive impact in the society. Broadly speaking, a policy cycle is developed in three steps: problem identification, policy formulation, and policy implementation. As scientists, we are trained to deal with the first step, however, we should collaborate during the second stage as well as it is our duty to provide research evidence to help to take decisions and actions.

Part of the speakers were members of the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA) [2]. They took part in the second module of the day “How and where to best present your research” and shared their experiences. Again, the importance of communicating our work was highlighted. If you are active on Social Media, maybe you could be interested to be the “Fellow of the Week”. This is an initiative promoted by the MSCA in order to give visibility to their fellows and its research topics. Every Friday, they select among the participants and publish one of the success histories on the MSCA account on Twitter and Facebook [3]. Other options to present our work can be the electronic magazines as Horizon (the EU Research & Innovation Magazine [4]) or to perform outreach activities. This last option is open to the creativity of each researcher, however, if you do not know where to start, maybe a good starting point could be visiting a high school and organize workshops to share a research topic among their students or taking part on the Researchers Night’s every last Friday of September.

The event finished with a visit to the Aeroscopia Museum. During the whole weekend, we were able to share words and ideas among the MSCA fellows. However, this time was even more special as we were surrounded by mythic airplanes as the Concorde or the A300B (the first model developed and manufactured by Airbus) [5]. No doubt that this was the ideal scenario to confirm that researching is a collaborative and international work.

Figure: MSCA Satellite Event activities: workshop in groups (left) and the visit to the Aeroscopia Museum (right)

[1] If you want to know more about how the components of the A380 are shipped, I recommend you the following link:

[2] For more information related to MCAA:

[3] Twitter: @MSCActions and Facebook: @Marie.Curie.Actions


[5] If you wonder: why am I so enthusiastic about everything related to airplanes? It is because my research project is how to predict and mitigate distortions present in large structural aeronautical parts for Airbus.