Every journey begins with a single step. In our case, we took it somewhere in the vineyards above Lake Geneva. We were on a hiking trip after a conference, when the idea popped up in our heads: Why not to continue our paths as postdocs together? 14 months later, we stepped into a train, about to leave Germany for at least two and a half years…

But wait, let us first introduce us to you: We are Doro and Sebastian, two physicists working on organic solar cells and other kinds of emerging photovoltaics. We met each other during our PhD studies at the University of Oldenburg – and quickly realized that we form a strong team.

Finding a postdoc position is tough. Finding two in the same group? Virtually impossible!

That’s what people used to say when we talked about our plans. We tried it anyway. And yes, it was tough. We got in touch with groups all over Europe. We applied to open positions. We wrote proposals. We launched this website. And we used social media. Months of hope and fear.

But then, in January 2018, the good news came from Brussles: Both of us were awarded with a Marie Curie fellowship to spent two years in the group of Martijn Kemerink at Linköping University, Sweden. This made us really happy, since writing two EU proposals from scratch within three weeks is defenitiely among the most challenging things we ever did.

But it got even better.

Some weeks later we learned that we have the possibility to join Ronald Österbacka’s group at Åbo Akademi in Turku, Finland – an offer, we can’t refuse! Not least because one of us (Sebastian) had already been in Turku and came back quite enthusiastic about this lovely place.

We figured out we will be able to stay six months in Turku before we move on to Linköping. So the schedule was set, and we started our journey on July 31, 2018 at Oldenburg’s train station.

This journey is pobably the journey of our lifetime. And we would like to take you with us. That’s why we started this blog.

Here we will write on a regular basis about our experience of living and doing research abroad. We’re not sure yet in what direction the blog will go. But we are happy if you are with us.

Yours

Doro and Sebastian