My four-month stay as a fellow at the IAS-STS in Graz had been lasting from November 2011 to February 2012. The Manfred Heindler Grant allowed me to move from Zurich closer to the empirical field I conduct my research in. Doing a study on trajectories in the Austrian agricultural biogas technology, my access to the field properly worked out like a “short cut”. It was very helpful for my interview campaign to be right on the doorstep of my interviewees. I could literally bore into my empirical field, time interview appointments overnight and be the next day in Linz, St. Pölten or Vienna. Especially as it came to interviews with farmers in Styria, being so close was indispensable. This was so beneficial for my research. In addition, my stay also allowed me to combine other activities connected to my PhD project in an advantageous manner. I attended some seminars at the University of Graz, had a productive exchange with some of the IFZ researchers and, above all, met my professor, who is located in Graz, for regular discussions.
It was a pleasure to have my office in a nice old building downtown. I very much enjoyed the everyday’s workflow with stimulating coffee breaks at Tribeka - my favorite place in Graz for getting terrific home roasted coffee. While my stay, this coffee shop was, besides our office, growing to a space where I experienced very nice and lively conversations with both other fellows and some researchers of IFZ. And, I highly appreciated the mentality and gentleness of the people in Graz and Styria and I would love to go back to Graz some day.
Steffen Wirth, Switzerland, IAS-STS Research Fellow 2011/2012