Zwillich Florentine

Ph. D. studentMcGill UniversityCanadaMontreal

A few aspects happened throughout the year. Firstly, I would like to start with the positive side of this year’s impacts.
When Covid cases reached Canada my group and I started to talk about what we could contribute to the unwelcome situation. Usually I am working with an instrument to analyze the chemical composition of crystals but this instrument has a wide range of applications. So, we decided to use it for some Covid related topics. In the end, we were able to create an interesting project and expanded our knowledge towards medical purposes.

Even though, this was a bright spot during the year, a few more negative situations happened. It started by cancellation of an important conference I wanted to join physically. It was organized virtually in the end but I couldn’t talk to the people I was so eager to talk to (virtually as well as personally). This could have made a first big step towards my goal after finishing my Ph. D.

The second downside this year was the cancellation of the research-trip I would have started in August. It had to be postponed because of McGill’s ongoing travel restrictions. Additionally, because of the university’s restrictions, the graduated mobility award committee decided to take the already disbursed awards back. In the end, I had to pay the money back, I have to re-apply again, I have to ask my supervisor as well as host-supervisor to write another letter for the research-trip and to be unsure if I will receive the award again. For me it is so disappointing because I have already received the award and could have used it next year or the year after anyway. I have also asked the committee why they decided to do this because we can use the award just timely shifted and they couldn’t even answer this question. Overall, I have a more negative view towards this year’s experiences.