Whether I was able to conduct my research according to my plan:
The project I intended to develop in Japan was a new kind of open microfluidics. The idea was in a very early stage of development, so the main purpose of the collaboration was to discuss and evaluate different processes that would enable the creation of such devices, which would offer very interesting properties. After sharing our knowledge and experience, we were indeed able to do the fabrication with high precision and perform preliminary experiments for the evaluation.
Accomplishments and experiences I would never have gotten unless I joined the Summer Program:
Developing new technology requires creative thinking. Therefore, new perspectives to a problem benefit from discussions with experts in the field. By meeting Prof. Konishi's team, I was able to forward the technology to the point where it is ready for the evaluation of the performance. Whether I would have been able to do it or not without the Summer Program is uncertain, but what is clear is that it would have taken a much longer time.
How do I make good use of this experience in my future research:
A very important part to be successful in research is to have a good network of colleagues who walk the path with you. Regarding my international relationships, I gained a lot through the JSPS Summer Program. As I feel it, we created strong ties between the teams that will likely lead to future collaborations in both directions, and possibly further exchange of students.
Message for future participants:
Enjoy this wonderful experience to come! You will be delighted that the Summer Program is incredibly well organized and you will have time to enjoy your time in many ways: working, traveling, meeting a number of interesting people, and encountering wonderful nature (including spiders the size of a fist; you'd better follow the paths when you hike) etc. Go for it!
Name: Javier Cruz Title: PhD-student Institution: Uppsala University Host Institution in Japan: Ritsumeikan University