Chapter 13

Centres of excellence


Welcome Sofía

And in what seems like a flash… I’m in Spain again! And I’m back to tell you about this new stage in my life. I’ve made friends from all over the world who I share interests with, I’ve received very stimulating training and I’ve discovered the beauty of the Nordic countries… My experience there has made me see how dreams are nothing more than goals that we want passionately and that, once they come true, leave room for other new ones while at the same time they give us a feeling of being able to achieve whatever we set out to do.

For me, being able to take part in an international exchange programme has been a dream come true.

The CNIC is one of the Severo Ochoa Centres of Excellence and María de Maeztu Units of Excellence, world-leading publicly funded centres at the forefront of the scientific and research field in Spain.

That’s why I’ve come home really keen to achieve my new dream… To get a job in a major research centre in Spain! On my return my friends at the faculty threw a surprise welcome home party for me. It was so emotional to see them all together to greet me and hear about the professional path that each one has embarked on.

I’m currently undertaking a postgraduate programme, the same as my colleagues, but some have already started working, for example my great friend Minerva, who has managed to get a job in none other than the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (National Centre for Cardiovascular Research, CNIC).

The CNIC was recently praised by the European Union Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Mr. Carlos Moedas, as ‘setting the standard for research in Spain and Europe’.

The aim of the CNIC is to finance and recognise publicly funded research centres and units that have a proven scientific impact and that actively collaborate with their social and business environment.

There are 29 centres at the moment and they all have a huge level of impact and competitiveness in their field on the global scene, backed up by the assessment of their research activity by external, independent scientific committees.

These centres promote pioneering strategic programmes and the international movement of human resources; maintain active institutional collaboration and exchange agreements with other top-level centres and foster the social dissemination of knowledge. Minerva told me enthusiastically about one of the latest achievements of her CNIC colleagues, who have identified key mechanisms for designing vaccines for flu, herpes, tuberculosis, HIV-1 and other emerging viruses.

CNIC scientists have identified key mechanisms for improving the design of vaccines for flu, herpes, tuberculosis, HIV-1 and other emerging viruses.

Perhaps I’m being too enthusiastic but I’m excited about the scientific progress being made for the good of human welfare. The party ended with the bitter-sweet feeling you get after all reunions, nostalgia for old times in the faculty offset by the joy of meeting up again.

01_POSTS_#11_notebookRemember, you can find more information in my notebook, that you can always find at the footer of my blog.