Covid 19 pandemic severely influenced the activities planned in REPARES as traveling between partner institutions is, indeed, a vital component of the project. We could not organize two seminars and a workshop planned for 2020 and the two 6-months secondments that took place (Dana Vejmelkova visited Wetsus and Aleksandra Milobedzka went to UCP) could not involve too much experimental work. Moreover, our researchers faced difficulties while coming back to Prague.
However, we learned a lot! We learned to effectively use on-line meetings to push forward research and to exchange knowledge. We also explore innovative ways for sharing expertise: we organize on-line summer school, on-line expert visits, and e-secondments.
Dana Vejmelkova shares experience from her Covid-affected secondment to Wetsus:
I carried my research visit at Wetsus from March till August 2020. That means I spent only limited time in the lab and some of the collaborators met online only or just once during the whole period.
How did it influence my visit outcomes? I started to analyze data produced in Wetsus just after I came back to UCT Prague. I keep on joining Friday meetings of the Antibiotic resistance group where I get feedback on my progress, hear issues with which my colleagues deal, and how they solve them, and get the motivation to finish the planned research. During my stay in the Netherlands, I could observe how the COVID situation is handled both, in daily life and at work and compare it with the approach in Czechia.
Keeping a distance, wearing a mask, working in shifts, setting/changing priorities, making detailed time plans, presenting and networking online, etc. There were many new things, but that means gaining new skills and knowledge.
A bit different than planned? Nice, those are the most urgent and needed in this period. I am grateful for such an experience and happy this collaboration hasn’t stopped yet!