In summer 2014, I worked at the Long-Term Ecology Laboratory at the University of Oxford. The two month research stay was funded by a POLMAR Outgoing Scholarship, which also included financial support for childcare. Taking my daughters with me started as a necessity, but soon turned out to be beneficial for all of us. The experience of working in the highly inspiring working environment of Oxford University and living abroad with my family was excellent and I encourage all PhD students to use the great opportunity to apply for a POLMAR Outgoing Scholarship!
The research stay at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) was one of the best parts of my PhD studies so far. With great support of the sea ice group at the Geophysical Institute, I made a good progress investigating the mechanisms of landfast ice development in the Laptev Sea. Apart from invaluable feedback and the scientific experience I got, I also had a great time exploring Alaska. All in all, I came back to Germany with new ideas, lots of motivation and inspiration to continue my work on sea ice.
Polona Itkin (former POLMAR member) had been able to attend seminars and made business trips thanks to the POLMAR family support programme. There is no minimum age limit for becoming a marine scientist!