Building a Network

AN INTERVIEW WITH Monika Bozhinoska Lazarova



Name: Monika Bozhinoska Lazarova
 Political Science
Country: North Macedonia
Occupation: Doctoral Fellow at the Bamberg Graduate School of Social Sciences
Research Interests: Migration,Political behaviour, Political parties, Political representation of immigrants





Monika is a doctoral student in the field of Political Sciences as well as an early stage researcher at the GLOMO Project, which is part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie project.  Further information about the GLOMO project are available here:  As part of the programme, she undertook two research stays expanding her training and professional development within the framework of the GLOMO project. In an interview, she tells us about her experiences during these research stays (secondments).


// At which university or institution did you spend your research stays? Did you work on a specific project?

M. B. L.  During my work with the GLOMO project, I had two research stays. The first research stay was from January to May 2020 at the Vrije University Amsterdam and the second one was from October 2021 to January 2022 at the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), which is part of the German Federal Employment Agency in Nuremberg. During my research stay at the Vrije University, I was working on a project alongside Kerstin Martel and Ivan Olav Vulchanov that explored career development experiences of politicians with immigrant background in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we were not able to conduct the field data collection and had to adapt our project. This experience helped us develop another research on the EU mobility during the Covid-19 pandemic. At the IAB and together with Herbert Brücker and Christoph Deuster, I was working on a short research report that focused on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on migration. The short report of our research can be found here DOI 10.48720/IAB.KB.2210.

// Which aspect of the research stay appealed to you most?

M. B. L.  Regarding the research stay in Amsterdam, I think most appealing was the network of researchers I met. I had an opportunity to work with researchers from the Department of Organizational Behaviour, which was very useful for me to expand my perspectives on how organizations affect individuals. Furthermore, I was invited to attend the doctoral colloquia and seminars at the Department of Political science at the University of Amsterdam during my stay. This was a great opportunity not only to discuss my research, but also to learn more about the projects of other doctoral candidates from my field. At IAB, as a part of the Migration, Integration and International Labour Market Research Department, I really enjoyed the opportunity to learn how migration research is applied outside of the University. It was very appealing to see the application of the interdisciplinary approach used to provide a better understanding of diverse migration issues not just for academic papers but also for reports that can be used for political advice, policy-making or informational purposes.

// To what extent was the research stay beneficial for your academic career?

M. B. L.  I learned a lot from both research stays. This experience allowed me to broaden my knowledge and skills as well as contributed to the expansion of my perspective on immigrant integration and the various possible approaches of this issue in different disciplines. It was important for me to see how I can apply my knowledge and experience in very different organizations to understand what I can contribute and what I need to learn.

// How did your research stay benefit you personally?

M. B. L.  I enjoyed my time during the two research stays. The colleagues and professors I met probably had the greatest impact on me. This experience also helped me to form a better idea on how I want to continue my career development. Finally, it was also important to learn how to adapt and fit better in different organizational settings and cultures and how to collaborate with researchers from diverse fields and backgrounds.

// Any advises for the earlier researchers planning of research stay abroad?

M. B. L.  Most importantly, I think is to define your expectations and goals of a research stay.  In addition, if there is a person who facilitates the research stay, I would recommend communicating your expectations and discussing how you can achieve your goals. In cases where the research stay is in an institution, one advice is to complete all administrative procedures before starting the research stay if possible. By administrative procedures, I mean opening an institutional e-mail address, getting credentials to access the institution and its virtual system and materials you might need for your work.  These things can take some time and the waiting can be frustrating when you have limited time. Finally, I would say try to engage with the network you meet and enjoy the experience.