Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship
“In 2012 I was awarded by the European Commission the “Intra-European Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship” to conduct the research “An Evaluation of the Legacies of Sporting Mega Events on Social Capital in Greece”. On September 2013 I relocated to Athens, Greece for 2 years and became affiliated with the Regional Development Institute of the Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences. The aim of the project was to explore the links between sport, physical activity and social capital in Greece, a largely unexplored area in the literature. A total sample of 2280 respondents was collected from an online questionnaire that was distributed to runners and volunteers of the 2014 Authentic Marathon. Data are still under analysis and complete reports and any relevant publications will be posted in this section.”

 

The challenges

The project planning has not been particularly challenging as the steps outlined by the European Commission’s Research Executive Agency (REA) and the deliverables/ milestones planned in the project proposal have been all tangible and clear. However, a mobility fellowship comes often with challenges of a non-academic nature. In my case the problems that emerged were not linked with the project per se but with the financial and political instability of Greece and the university issues that the country was called to face. It was an unfortunate coincidence that such issues were heightened during the first three months of the project. I became more involved with the project management to avoid any possible disruptions and with the guidance of the project officer in Brussels the problems were soon resolved.
 

The skills experience

With this mobility fellowship I realised that the skills acquired are not just academic but perhaps more so life skills, which are necessary for working efficiently in a new cultural environment. Everyday challenges had to be faced with adaptability, flexibility, openness to alternative pathways, intercultural awareness and a positive attitude. Also communication skills, creativity and motivation were awarded with access to local networks and new funding streams for projects related to social and cultural capital. Overall the experience helped me develop as an individual with more inspiration for creating, supporting and researching meaningful work for the communities.

 

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