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Mfamily alumni PhD stories

Be inspired by MFamily PhD stories from the Netherlands, Norway and Northern Ireland!

Publisert: Endret:

Meet Alyona Artamonova

From MFamily (2016 - 2018) to PhD studies in the Netherlands.

How has your professional life evolved after graduating from the MFAMILY programme?
-After graduating from the MFAMILY programme, I was offered a PhD position in the ERC-project “Family Ties” at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

Where are you currently employed?
-I am still doing PhD in Groningen.

What are the main focus area(s) of your employer?
-The main focuses of the Population Research Center of the University of Groningen are studies on the issues of population and health embedded in the socio-cultural and spatial context in which people live. The research is part of and fits within the research programme of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences entitled 'towards Well-being, Innovation and Spatial Transformation' (tWIST).

What is your role?
-My PhD study contributes to a more comprehensive explanation of internal migration than current, mainly economic, explanations have achieved thus far. A novel ‘family ties perspective’ helps to identify the role of family in internal migration, immobility and labour-market outcomes.

Which aspects of the MFAMILY programme do you think have been the most beneficial to your career development?
-The most beneficial aspects of the MFAMILY programme to my career development were knowledge of welfare systems (especially in Scandinavian countries), soft skills.

Do you have any top tips to share with future and current students?
-Start thinking about your Master thesis already during the first year of MFamily,
-Explore requirements to PhD-positions in advance in order to have a set of documents prepared,
-Try to combine your MFamily travels with participation in the conferences,
-Don’t hesitate to ask MFamily professors for help with your PhD-application,
-Do your best to prepare the paper based on your master thesis and submit it to the journal,
-Keep trying,
-Don’t forget to have fun!

Describe in three words what MFAMILY means to you.
Getting second family.


Meet Lydia Mehrara

From Mfamily (2015 - 2017) to PhD studies in Norway.

How has your professional life evolved after graduating from the MFAMILY programme?
-I changed my career path, found my niche interest and started my PhD a year after graduating.

Where are you currently employed?
- Nord University, Bodø, Norway

What are the main focus area(s) of your employer?
-Education and research in a variety of fields, with mine being in the division of Welfare and Social Relations at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

What is your role?
-As a PhD Candidate in Sociology, I am conducting an individual research project on the topic of maternal healthcare for migrant women in Norway. By focusing on the intersections of migration, health policy and sociology of health, the aim of this study is to make a significant contribution in the understanding and addressing of health disparities among Norway’s growing migrant population.

Which aspects of the MFAMILY programme do you think have been the most beneficial to your career development?
-The diversity of the group, the diversity of the lecturers and the diversity of topics taught and discussed.

Do you have any top tips to share with future and current students?
-Make every day count! This is not just an academic opportunity but also a time for personal growth, so make the best of it.

Describe in three words what MFAMILY means to you.
Opportunities, friendships and education.

Meet Eden Begna Gobena

From Mfamily (2016 - 2018) to PhD studies in Norway.

How has your professional life evolved after graduating from the MFAMILY programme?
-After graduating, my professional life changed in a lot of different ways! I have got lots of skills and knowledge through the different courses I have taken in the program and I have also got amazing personal or life experience through traveling in different European countries as well as through meeting different people from all over the world.  As a professional and a human being, it makes me to be more flexible, accepting and to be a person who embraces differences. Finally, this program laid a foundation for my future professional journey, which is PhD or be an academician.

Where are you currently employed?

-I am currently employed as a PhD fellow at University of Stavanger in Department of Social Studies.

What are the main focus area(s) of your employer?
-My employer is a University with different departments and programs. I am in Social Studies Department and it focuses on social science fields like social work, welfare and so on.

What is your role?
- I am a PhD fellow in a 3 years program in the social studies department. Basically, I conduct, publish and present my research project with in the given time. I also have a responsibility to participate in workshops or conferences and take some mandatory courses within and outside of Norway. 

Which aspects of the MFAMILY programme do you think have been the most beneficial to your career development?
- For me, all aspects of the program have been so important and beneficial in my professional life. From courses in the class to field placement to traveling around Europe have been a whole new and trilling experience that I have got from Mfamily. I believe everything we have been through in our life can be a good input for our professional development.

Do you have any top tips to share with future and current students?
- First, I want to say you did the right thing for applying on this program. Second, make use of the 2 years time to get the best out of it! Finally, don’t forget to enjoy your life and have fun! Last but not least, travel!

Describe in three words what MFAMILY means to you.
- Amazing new experience!

Meet Laura Sirabella

From Mfamily (2017 - 2019) to PhD studies in Northern Ireland.

How has  your professional life evolved after graduating from the MFAMILY programme?
-I graduated from the MFamily programme in August 2019 and I started a PhD in November of the same year.

Where are you currently employed?
-I am a PhD research in the School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences at Ulster University, in Northern Ireland, UK.

What are the main focus area(s) of your employer?
-The main focus of my PhD is social policy. Subjects of my research include sexual and reproductive health rights, reproductive justice, sustainable development, role of civil society organisations to address reproductive health.

What is your role?
-I am a PhD researcher under the DTA3/COFUND Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD Fellowship programme. My role is mainly to undertake research and carry out some basic teaching.

Which aspects of the MFAMILY programme do you think have been the most beneficial to your career development?
-The most beneficial aspects of the MFamily programme in my career development have been learning how to do a social research, undertaking a research in the field (design, data collection, analysis and discussion of findings), developing a critical thinking thanks to the intercultural exposure throughout the two years of the programme.

Do you have any top tips to share with future and current students?
-My top tip is to take the opportunity during the last semester to explore a topic you are really passionate in. This could be a starting point to build you career in that area. And also, during the last semester you won’t have a lot of time to apply for future job opportunities, but if you see a call which seems the perfect for you, find some time to make the application. It could end up well!

Describe in three words what MFAMILY means to you.
-MFamily means journey, sharing, uniqueness.