Emily IVERSEN

Digital Communication Manager, Luxembourg National Research Fund

Danish

I am no researcher, but having interviewed probably around 100 scientists, the most mentioned benefits are interdisciplinarity and how the young age of Luxembourg’s research system for many scientists represents an opportunity to build up something new.

 

Originally from Denmark, I grew up in Luxembourg, but went abroad (Austria and England) to study and then work. I returned in 2015 and have been at the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) ever since. In the last few years before I returned to Luxembourg,

I worked in London, United Kingdom. I worked in public relations and science communication for some universities and then for a research funding charity. After 10 years away, a strong desire to return to the country I grew up in brought me back to Luxembourg! Once I had finished my studies and gathered a few years of work experience in science communication in London, I felt I had a skillset that could be valuable to apply within the Luxembourg research landscape.

I speak five languages: Danish, English, German fluently and enough French and Luxembourgish to make myself understood. In England, I missed being able to use these languages.

Since returning to Luxembourg, I have been at the FNR, where I am the Digital Communication Manager. My job consists of a variety of tasks: I upload and write the content for the FNR’s website fnr.lu, manage the corporate social media channels, send out the newsletter, analytics, creating graphic design elements, videos and much more. One example of a series I developed is Spotlight on Young Researchers, which has been running since 2016 and has featured around 100 young researchers in or from Luxembourg so far.

 

What do you like most about your job?

The variation! My work at the FNR never gets boring. I am lucky to get to exchange with many inspiring scientists and write about research covering a dozen scientific fields. We are a small communications team at the FNR, which means I get to work on things at every step, for example: interviewing a scientist, writing the story, uploading it to the website, promoting it on social media. I also increasingly dabble in graphic design and videos for social media.

Communication activities are so crucial to raising awareness and it is wonderful the FNR recognises the value of this, giving our communication team the opportunity to develop new, innovative communication activities, such as our campaign letzSCIENCE which invites people to discover Luxembourg research through various augmented reality (AR) experiences. 

How would you describe your job to a child?

One part of my job is to help researchers get the information they need to apply for funding to do their research, the other part is telling people about the research we fund, why we fund it, showing the people who do it, and why it is important. The second part can take many shapes: Sometimes it is an interview with a scientist, sometimes a story or a video about the science, but also in augmented reality.

 

What makes doing research in Luxembourg special?

I am no researcher, but having interviewed probably around 100 scientists, the most mentioned benefits are interdisciplinarity and how the young age of Luxembourg’s research system for many scientists represents an opportunity to build up something new.

Which is your favorite place in Luxembourg?

The forests and the Upper Sûre Lake! Luxembourg boasts a huge amount of forested areas and beautiful places to walk. Being a landlocked country, the Upper Sûre Lake has several beautiful beaches to chose from to soak in the Sun and go for a swim in the Summer – there is nothing better during Luxembourg’s heatwaves! If possible, avoid going during the weekend as it gets super busy, weekdays are much less so.

What would you miss most when leaving Luxembourg?

The Gromperekichelcher!

What’s your advice for a newcomer to Luxembourg?

It can be hard to be new in any country. While I am no newcomer to Luxembourg (I grew up here), when I moved to other countries, I found that people at work or university can be so nice and helpful in making you feel at home and in getting to know new people and places

What are your key objectives in your work?

The overall goal of the FNR’s communication team is to develop communication activities and content that maximises awareness of the FNR’s activities and the research and scientists the FNR funds.

What was the most rewarding experience in your job so far?

I would say it was developing the letzSCIENCE concept, seeing it grow from notes on a piece of paper to a fully fledged campaign and now app. The head of the FNR’s communication team, Didier Goossens, pushed our team to think outside the box and to come up with innovative ideas for how we could increase awareness of the research the FNR funds – in new ways. The idea was born to blend the beauty of science with the augmented reality format, which is not mainstream in Luxembourg. A wonderful team of people in Luxembourg (Korytko; Virtual Rangers; Studio Polenta; Cropmark) helped us refine and bring the concept to life – now in its second year, the campaign has grown and now anyone anywhere can download the free letzSCIENCE AR app and discover science in augmented reality. The feedback from scientists has been so positive, both for the letzSCIENCE campaign and many of our other activities.