Thank you for being part of my journey with CESAER!

Our Advisor for Higher Education Sophie Ratcliff finishes her contract on 30 June 2024, and extends her gratitude to all who have been part of her journey within the association.
27th June 2024
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From our sunny office in Kasteelpark Arenberg, I wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude for the incredible time I have spent within the CESAER Secretariat.

Today, I face the challenging task of summarising months filled with joyous encounters, enriching discussions, and passionate advocacy for a cause dear to my heart: strengthening the role of science in global governance to foster a sustainable, inclusive, and resilient society.

My journey with CESAER has taken me to meet many of you in person in Leuven, Brussels, Tallinn, Brno, Dublin, Stockholm, Madrid, Barcelona, Stuttgart, Ghent, and Athens. I want to thank all our members across the network for your warm welcome and passionate engagement. Together, we discussed university rankings, science diplomacy, European University Alliances, and the EU elections in a medieval Estonian restaurant, on a boat in the Stockholm Archipelago, and at the Museum of Literature in Dublin. My special thoughts go to the Co-Chairs and Secretaries of the Task Forces I worked closely with, Justyna, Kasia, Mara and Roberto, Nathalie and Peter, and Christian, Romy and Wendy. The Task Forces will now benefit from the great support of my successor Touko, and I look forward to seeing the projects arising from this collaboration!

To my colleagues at the Secretariat who have welcomed me since day one—Indré and Louise—and those who joined later—Justine, Touko, and Vincent—thank you for the laughs and the support. My infinite thanks go to our Secretary General, Mattias, for your invaluable support, infallible trust, and constructive mentorship. As I move towards the next steps, I will keep many cherished personal and professional memories from my time with CESAER.

As some of you may know already, I am delighted to stay in close contact with the association as I will independently contribute as an external expert to the CESAER Research Careers Survey 2024 over the summer.

During my time with a European youth organisation, we would end each event with a special saying, the hope of meeting again on the continent. Dear members of the CESAER network, from Athens to Trondheim, Dublin to Kiev: thank you, and see you somewhere in Europe and beyond!

I would love to stay connected, and you can reach me via LinkedIn or email.

Sophie Ratcliff, outgoing Advisor for Higher Education

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