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Susanne Reffert | IPMU | Japan

View Blog | Read Bio

That time of year again

It’s that time of year again, when countless postdocs around the world are packing up their stuff and preparing to cross the globe in order to take up new postdoc positions somewhere else. It happens to everyone every two to three years, and usually several times. While the possibility of traveling and living in different parts of the world is doubtlessly one of the advantages of the job, it also brings some disadvantages. I’d be lying if I claimed that in the weeks before moving which are filled with packing and selling off furniture, scientific productivity didn’t suffer. The same is naturally true for the first weeks after arriving in the new place when one needs to find an apartment, take care of all the paperwork and get settled in. But it’s no use complaining, since the same thing happens to all of us, so on average it’s not a disadvantage.

Three years have passed since the first postdocs arrived at the newly founded IPMU. It’s been an exciting time and a lot of progress was made. We started out in prefabs, but in the meantime IPMU has moved into a beautiful new building. From a place with a handful of scientists, it has developed into a lively community and has attained international recognition. This first crop of IPMU postdocs has done quite well and is now moving on to new positions, some of them even permanent. Some of our colleagues have already begun scattering around the world, and soon I will follow. In the meantime, stories of fortunes spent on excess luggage and lost suitcases are reaching us back at IPMU, and I can only hope my own move will go through smoothly. A large part of my belongings is already on its way in some shipping container somewhere on the ocean…

From October on, a new chapter of my scientific life will begin, this time at CERN in Geneva, where the search for the Higgs is in full swing.

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