It is great to be a junior researcher at Aarhus University

It is great to be a junior researcher at Aarhus University

My Name is Tiare Feuchtner, and I am a postdoc at the Department of Computer Science at Aarhus University. What really interests me as a researcher is exploring new ways for humans to interact with computers, particularly in virtual reality. So I work on developing new interaction paradigms for interaction with virtual and also augmented reality systems. I think it is important that we don’t interact with VR just using controllers, but that we use our hands instead. This creates an illusion of body ownership and makes you feel like you’re actually part of the virtual environment. I came to Aarhus from Berlin four years ago because at that time my Master’s thesis supervisor came to Denmark and offered me a PhD position. At Aarhus University, there is a getting-started event for new employees where you get your tax number, your residency permit and so on and the cool thing is that you get all your paperwork done in just a couple of hours. Aarhus University has a long tradition for human-computer interaction research. So I get to learn from the best scientists in the field. Also, we have the financial resources to conduct meaningful research using cutting-edge technology. Money is not everything of course, but it often makes work a lot easier. As a junior researcher or PhD student at AU, you have a lot of freedom to pursue your own interests, but you also have a high responsibility for your own work. I find that very motivating. I have found a very supportive team here that challenges my ideas and helps me develop them even further. Also, the hierarchies are quite relaxed here in Denmark, which allows junior researchers and professors to engage in equal dialogue. Danes in general have a high quality of life, and the work-life balance here is excellent. Most people don’t work overtime and don’t respond to emails during the weekend. Your free time is respected and is reserved for family and friends which allows you to recharge your batteries, stay healthy and be more efficient during working hours. I have really come to appreciate the Danish way of living.

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