A few words from Nikos Gatsinos

Could you introduce yourself briefly? Tell us a few things about your background, studies, and general interests.

My name is Nikos Gatsinos and I come from Athens, Greece. I am a sociologist by training, having my Bachelor’s at Panteion University, Athens. After graduating, I worked for the Greek Asylum Service as a case officer for something more than three years, doing my Master’s in Social and Solidarity Economy at the Hellenic Open University in parallel. I should say that I consider the close connection to refugees and asylum seekers as a pivotal point in my life trajectory. Other than that, I’d also add that listening to good music and reading would be my main interests, besides work.

How was your moving to your new home? How are things going for you in your new place?

Well, at first it felt like a challenge; I had never worked or studied abroad, so relocating was kind of a question. Doing a PhD was somewhat of an aspiration to me; towards that end, I was fortunate to be encircled by people who supported my will to pursue these studies, so with their endorsement, everything unfolded smoothly. Besides that, it was relatively easy for me to find a new home, as the housing market in Graz is not so difficult to cope with, at least for the time being. On the other hand, I am very glad to say that my colleagues are more than friendly, as well as open-minded, so I felt familiar with my new environment in a considerably short period of time.

You are preparing for your Work Package meeting, how is your work going?

It is quite soon to have a clear overview of the project, as well as of the research plan in the long term. So at the moment I am concerned with the conceptualization of the main theoretical aspects that I plan to employ during the next three years. I think, as well as hope, that currently I have a rough depiction of the literature review and of the connection between main concepts, in order to finally approach precariousness, which is my personal task within this project.

Could you share with us some key insights/ “aha moments” from your work so far?

The first that comes to mind is the realization that as you engage in research, you probably come up with more questions than answers. I think this is fruitful, at least for the first part of the research procedure. On the other hand, that could easily lead to an imbalance, between broadening the scope of interest and the need to narrow down your work on specific matters, in order to conclude it in time. Another thing would be that the academic working environment in general and the colleagues in particular provide very positive externalities on your work; it’s common that you understand something that you’ve dwelled on for a long time, just by having a short talk over coffee with a colleague.

What do you expect from the WP meeting?

First of all I would like to see my fellow PhD candidates, as well as our supervisors. Furthermore, I’d expect to listen to what others have to say, as it is reasonable to get more interesting, as well as mature insights as time passes by and the more we engage in our work.

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 955907.