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This petition has been created by Antonia W. and may not represent the views of the Avaaz community.
The EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the EC President
Dear Dr von der Leyen,
My name is Antonia Weberling, I am a third year PhD student at the University of Cambridge. My studies are funded by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network ImageInLife (http://imageinlife.eu/).
Since December 2017, I have worked 7 days per week up to 20 h a day to investigate the morphogenetic events driving the process of implantation of the embryo into the mother. A process that fails in 30% of human pregnancies and that is still barely understood. Currently, I am leading 5 different research projects, which is an exceptional workload for a PhD student.
Through the Coronavirus pandemic, our lab had to close for 3 months, leading to a total set back of 6 months as we need to rebreed our model organisms.
Last week, I learnt that we might be able to prolong our fellowships but will not be provided with any salary. And that there will be no emergency scheme put in place to help us finishing our projects.
The reason for which: There is no precedent for this.
That is correct. There is no precedent for this situation, we are facing the precedent. Not only the Coronavirus costs lives. Again, 30% of human pregnancies are lost due to implantation failure. I am not the only PhD student funded by the European Union facing this problem. We all do our research to give tools in the hands of medics to save lives. Day by day, we try to understand in order to learn how to help.
Not being allowed to finish my research because of a loss in funding will mean that I won’t be able to publish my findings. Please help me to finalise my projects. Please allow an extension of 3-6 months of salary.
You are setting the precedent here. And you are doing it on the cost of people that are invisible and that no one has given a voice. The research we are doing is not only our job but also our passion. Taking it away from us, you gamble with our lives. Please help. Please consider all the people we will save with our research in the future.