“At first, I wanted to become an archaeologist. But then I accidentally came across something called ‘Celtic Studies’ in a folder for secondary education. As a secondary school student in the Netherlands, you are allowed to attend a few university lectures to see if you enjoy it. I fell in love with Medieval Irish on the spot. Since the start of the first year, we were using books published by DIAS, such as the Early Irish Law series or editions of medieval Welsh tales. So, when I found out it was possible to work at this place, obviously I applied! It’s a dream come true to work here. I used to be a very shy student. I never felt confident enough to raise my hand. But my research journey allowed me to grow my skills and believe in myself more. I began to do things outside of my comfort zone because that created new opportunities. One day, I could be teaching Medieval Welsh to students who have never seen that language before and the next day, I might be talking about my research on Dutch national radio. I’ve met the Dutch King when he came to visit Ireland and I talked to him about the Celtic languages. I’ve been able to hold 9th-century manuscripts in my hand and see the notes made by the famous Irish scholar, Johannus Scottus. Even with all the passion I have for what I do, it’s essential to be able to work in an environment that supports you both as an academic and as a person. I think this is especially important for women in Academia, to help us move forward. And that’s what I feel DIAS does: at times when things don’t work out as they should, I know I can always turn to my colleagues and that means a lot to me.”
This post was highlighted by @DIASDublin. DIAS actively supports women in research, and to acknowledge their work we have created this series in the lead up to International Women’s Day.
The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) conducts advanced research exploring big questions of the 21st century and beyond. Its research gains insights into Celtic society and its legacy; progresses our understanding of our island, our planet, and the universe; and deciphers the underpinning mathematical principles of nature. In 2020 DIAS will mark it’s 80th Anniversary with a range of public events. Check out our full DIAS 2020 programme!