Outgoing: Julie Baillet, from Bordeaux to California
Julie Baillet is currently carrying out research within the framework of the MSCA Global Fellowship* at Stanford University (California). She will spend 2 years in the USA before returning to Bordeaux as of the summer of 2023 for a final year to complete her project.
Why did you choose to carry out an international research visit?
Having a research experience abroad during your academic career is gratifying on personal and professional levels. As a European native, I was highly motivated for spending some time abroad while still maintaining a connection with Europe. The MSCA Global Fellowship was ideal because it includes 2 years outside Europe and 1 year in Europe. While this fellowship promotes sustained international collaboration between two research groups, it is also a key step for my academic career and will improve my scientific maturity, leadership and networking to apply for faculty positions.
What is the topic of your research project?
This funded research project between France and the US aims to develop more effective vaccine delivery technologies to reach a complete immunization in a single dose. We decided to work with the SARS-CoV-2 virus but the platform can be applied to other pathogens (e.g. HIV).
Why Stanford University, USA?
Among all renowned US colleges, I chose Stanford University for its excellence in Material Science and Bioengineering which is crucial for this project. Moreover, the country is ideal for the development of such project considering the strong government support for vaccine related research.
What are the main differences you have identified between research in the USA and in France?
That’s a tricky question! I don’t have enough experience in France and the US to objectively answer this question. Doing research in both of these countries cannot be compared. The dynamic is different in terms of team organization, hierarchy, funding opportunities, collaborations with other research groups or companies. For example, my research group trains postdoctoral scholars as leaders. Depending on each person’s career goals, we actively participate in grant writing, scientific paper reviewing, funding management, recruitment, or mentoring.
In addition to furthering your research experience, what do you hope to learn from this international experience?
Without any hesitation, I would say: improvement of my way of thinking and the way that I communicate with people from different backgrounds. Being abroad for several years is a new exciting start in your life that forces you to go out from your comfort zone and to be independent. US culture can be pretty different and Stanford University gathers a lot of international scholars. I learnt to interact with others in consequence. I’ve become more adaptable and open-minded!
I probably won’t miss the metrics that can sometimes be a real headache (Degrees Fahrenheit, miles, ounces, feet, etc.) or peanut butter/jelly and/or Nutella bagels. I will definitely miss reading the word “sautéed” on the menu, even if “sauté” is perfectly fine by itself. More seriously, California has a lot to offer in terms of nature and breathtaking landscapes as well as job opportunities. If you get the chance to have an experience in the US, go for it!
Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Global Fellowships (GF)
The MSCA Global Fellowships support the international career of researchers by giving them the opportunity to conduct a research project in a host institution located in a Third Country. Third Countries are all those countries that do not belong to the European Union (so-called EU Member States) and that are not associated with the European Research Area (so-called Associated Countries). ALL countries in ASEAN are eligible under this scheme as Third Countries. The Fellow will spend between 12 and 24 months conducting postdoctoral research at the Third Country institution. This is followed by a mandatory return phase of 12 months to be spend at a host institution in an EU Member State or Associated Country. During the whole duration of the Fellowship the researcher is employed by the European host institution and is seconded to the Third Country for the outgoing phase. The entire duration of the Fellowship is funded by the EU.
- For more information, please consult this website
University of Bordeaux academic staff
Please note that for the academic staff (researchers, researcher-lecturers, postdoctoral fellows, etc.) of the University of Bordeaux, the International Office offers support and guidance to those wishing to find out more and apply for international mobility opportunities – such as the MSCA GF.