The main objective of my 3-month Short-Term Scientific Mission (STSM) was to synthesise the information gathered during the activities of Working Group 4 (WG4) and link it to the work of other WGs. I was hosted by Dr Jasmeet Kaler, Professor of Epidemiology and Precision Livestock Informatics at the University of Nottingham. I first reviewed the findings from all the focus groups, STSMs and WG4 meetings, then I explored various qualitative theories that could be used to compile the findings of our project, and finally I created a detailed table of contents for the report, including the subsections that address the challenges of implementing output-based surveillance. The report will be presented at the final conference in September.
In addition to working on the STSM, I was also involved in Jasmeet’s group activities. For example, I participated in a focus group with farmers on the use of technology on their farms, conducted a thematic analysis of interviews with sheep farmers on scab control, presented my research at the group meeting and visited their cattle research farm. I also participated in Journal Club and Farm Maths, where I presented my model on the spread of paratuberculosis in a small dairy herd. Most valuable for me, besides the new knowledge, were the interactions with Jasmeet and her team. It was tremendously inspiring to talk and collaborate with experienced and young researchers in this field. I am very grateful that they welcomed me into their team and spent so much time with me – during work, coffee, lunch and free time on campus or in Nottingham. I would recommend doing a longer STSM to anyone, but especially to those who do not have many people in the same field at their home institution.
University of Ljubljana, Slovenia