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Eat, write, love

As an ITN early stage researcher, every once and again you are asked a question: “So what do you do during your training events?” Training events, happening every half-year, get me giddy from excitement about a month in advance, and as it goes, I like telling people about that. So being confronted with this question rather regularly, I must have an answer, right? Well, not exactly.

RECOMS mentor acted as chair track on ISDRS that went online this year

In July 2020, Alex Franklin acted as track chair at the annual International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS) Conference. Organised around the theme of ‘public participation and the role of stakeholders’ Alex used the opening introduction as an opportunity to briefly present on the RECOMS ITN as both scholarly and in-practice inspiration for the track.

Act 3: Light at the end of the tunnel or when you go native

In the previous parts of this saga, the two courageous fellows were hit by the standards of Finnish summer cottage life and its summer weather, which required some serious coping mechanisms to be put in place. However, they successfully managed to attend the training event thanks to disciplined daily routines and lack of distractions. Days are passing by and their time in Luvia is ticking – is there light at the end of the tunnel?

ITN mobility in times of corona…

As an ITN fellow, one of the cornerstones of the program is mobility. Mobility for our research, for training but also mobility for personal matters since most of us are a couple of thousand kilometers away from family and friends. However, the pandemic has come to put in question all these things that a few months ago, no one would have thought twice, like taking a train or a plane to get to your next training. Suddenly the world became so small. 

Act 2 - Finnish summer strikes back or how you “get what you have”

Training event 5 is what happens between two saunas, if you ask us. Check the act one of the epic saga “RECOMS goes online” if you missed our arrival to the Finnish cottage where we spent the 10 days of the fifth online training event. Our trust in life was already tested, but little we knew about what the following days had in store for us. And indeed, there was more than met the eye.

Act 1: All the roads lead to Luvia or how the zoom platform meets authentic cottage life

Being left without the option of leaving the country, we decided to go the Finnish way: rent a mökki (a cottage in the countryside, often the second or third or fourth house, with surrounding forests of about the size of Luxembourg and very, very, very few or preferably no neighbors. Occasionally, it may have a toilet with running water), get groceries for 2 weeks and disappear from society.

RECOMS goes online – Training Event5 in distance and together - Prologue


The world has stopped. A nasty virus has forced people all around to lock up in their homes. Month after month, social interactions and communications only occur in a parallel digital dimension; faces on screens, that’s what we get, day after day. Questions start to pop-up in our melted student brains - Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

Using paintings to communicate research results

I conducted interviews with 25 alternative farmers in Japan with the help of translator. Next to the usual challenges of conveying social and cultural connotations from Japanese to English, I noticed how the quotes from the interviews do not adequately convey the emotions that were present during the interviews. These emotions are rooted in the practices and experiences of the farmers. They convey their connections with the physical environments like landscapes, soil, and plants. 

Let's make our cities edible

Read about RECOMS fellow, Mai Abbas' experience from Kassel, Germany about how to make the city edible and what plants you can find in the urban jungle that can be useful for your stomach and for your health.

Video about RECOMS Fellows reflecting on their PhD journeys

In September 2018, 15 RECOMS Fellows started their research career and PhD journey at 7 different institutes. The Fellows have been midway through with their projects, when we have asked these young researchers what they have learned in their first 1.5 year within the network. Their 'lessons learned' and reflections cover the challenges of pursuing a PhD, finding one’s place in academia, making an impact in the ‘real world’ and negotiating life in a foreign country.