A Fruitful Secondment

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ESR4 Secondment blog

One fundamental goal of the MonoGutHealth project is to ensure that all the 11 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) working on the project acquires industrial training (secondments). These secondments are vital in the career development of the ESRs as it provides novel and insightful knowledge and experience in their own research field making the PhD more than a classical doctoral degree. Beside the scientific research skills obtained from academia, the secondments provides professional skills which prepares the ESRs to easily integrate and work in a relevant industry upon completion of their PhD.

I recently concluded my three months secondment at Vetdiagnostica in Poland, which is an industry partner of the MonoGutHealth project. Vetdiagnostica is a well-recognized company for veterinary clinical diagnosis in the poultry industry in Poland. Vetdiagnostica trained and exposed me to different veterinary clinical diagnosis and microbiological techniques, which are routinely used in laboratory for diagnosis of poultry diseases, biological samples, water and feed samples. At Vetdiagnostica, I had the opportunity not only to improve my laboratory skills, but also organisational and leadership skills.

During my secondment, I was involved in numerous laboratory works. It was a useful point of collaboration since part of my research includes performing in vitro culture of bacteria (probiotics) to select the best pro- and prebiotic for the in ovo injection trial. During my secondment at Vetdiagnostica, I learnt how to culture bacteria reference strain (Escherichia coli), which will be beneficial for my research work. Through this, I learnt how to use different equipment such as MacFarland densitometer, spectrophotometer, stomacher, Dilu-Flow etc.

I would consider my secondment successful based on the goals set, which were realised upon completion of training. I acquired knowledge, which will go a long way in improving my laboratory skills.

Apart from the laboratory work, I was also exposed to their broiler farm. During this time, I learnt and was involved in the daily routine of the broiler house management (providing feed, water, weekly weighing of birds, disinfection, temperature and relative humidity regulation etc.).

One unique and important thing I learnt from this vibrant company is their cheerfulness, organisation and cooperation during work. People working there are very helpful and friendly.

In a nutshell, it was a great experience and a fruitful time with Vetdiagnostica as I have acquired novel skills, which will be useful in my future professional career.

Now, it is time to go back to my hosting institution and continue working on my research as scheduled, while I await for the next two exciting and educating secondments to come.

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