Victoria Pellicer Sifres from IGENIO [CISC-UPV] (Spain) spent four months as a visiting researcher at the University of Manchester (United Kingdom). Below are some reflections about her stay:
I am a doctoral student, already finishing by PhD. During the last four years, I have been researching the issue of energy vulnerability in the case of Spain, a relatively new topic in the Spanish context. Only recently the issue has come into the political debate, while it is still almost absent in the academic discussions.
From the first steps of my research I found that conceptualisations of fuel poverty are very limited in Spain, since they obscure core elements of the problem, such as structural power relations based on energy regimes. I began to meet more experienced scholars sharing this more critical point of view on fuel poverty conceptualization.
The STSM ENGAGER Cost Action provided the perfect opportunity to visit the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) at the University of Manchester for four months. SEED provided a vibrant academic space of discussion and reflection on these issues. The specific objectives of my stay, agreed with my host Professor Stefan Bouzarovsky, were to discuss both the causes and the consequences of energy vulnerability in Spain using elements from a capabilities approach.
During my stay, I had the chance to discuss my work with scholars from SEED; presenting my research in open presentations; give lectures on my topics of research; attending seminars, symposiums and lectures; and taking part in internal meetings of the society and environment research group (SERG).
During my stay I had the time and inspiration to produce academic papers, to enlarge my academic network and started new collaborations (which have been very active since now), and to learn from the organizational and academic culture of SEED and of the University of Manchester. My visit confirmed my interest in this area of research.
In general terms, my stay in Manchester was a big step in my research and in my academic career. The academic perspectives I learned, the relations I built and the debates I shared have strongly nurtured by work since today. Thank you SEED, Professor Stefan Bouzarovsky and his team for warmly hosting me, and thank you Cost Action for the opportunity and for the financial support.
To find out more see the full report from Victoria’s stay here.