American researcher arrives at IMT Atlantique through the European Bienvenüe program

Dr. Marie Jarrell, a young researcher who completed her Ph.D. at Clemson University in the U.S., recently began a two-year post-doctoral program in the Computer Science department at IMT Atlantique. Dr. Jarrell will be pursuing her research in HMI and augmented reality in comfortable conditions, thanks to the European program Bienvenüe supported by the Brittany Region.

The Bienvenüe program aims to strengthen the human potential of Breton research by attracting high-level international researchers through attractive conditions in terms of salary, work environment, training and networking. Bienvenüe plans to recruit 75 post-doctoral students jointly financed by the European Union (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions), the Brittany Region and partner institutions* for a total of 11 million euros. This recruitment involves three calls for proposals, launched in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Marie Jarrell

Dr. Marie Jarrell, a post-doctoral fellow in the Computer Science department at IMT Atlantique, arrived as part of the program's first cohort in November 2021: "I'm interested in everything related to video games, virtual reality simulations and digital interactive experiences." She did her PhD in Human Machine Interface (HMI) at Clemson University in the U.S., on minority representation in video games. "I wanted to have an international experience while expanding my field of interest to augmented reality. I seized the opportunity to come to France, a country I already knew a little about, and because the video game industry is well established and recognized there."

An original program to promote

Etienne Peillard, a associate professor in the Computer Science department specializing in the study of perception in an augmented environment, was convinced by Bienvenüe's interest and was interested in recruiting a post-doc under this program. He relayed the information to his network of young researchers to make them aware of the program and especially its originality: "Research projects are developed by the candidates on the theme of their choice.  For a post-doc, it's an opportunity to start developing his or her own research, even if the project is co-constructed together," emphasizes Etienne Peillard, "especially when you want to work on a subject that can't be immediately financed by a company: they are financed up to 85%. Postdoctoral projects submitted in the framework of BIENVENÜE calls and developed in conjunction with supervisors must also fall within one of the strategic innovation areas of the Breton Regional Strategy for Research and Innovation - S3 - and of course take place in Brittany!

Marie Jarrell unveils her project: "I will devote my post-doctorate to research on human-computer interaction with augmented reality (AR). Particular attention will be paid to augmented reality avatars, their identification and their influence on users' perceptions and behaviors." When asked how her time in France and on the Brest campus is going, "It's not really different from what I experienced as a kid in Massachusetts" testifies Marie. "For the past 3 months I haven't had time to explore or enjoy the area yet, but I plan to do so during the coming months!"

Applications for the second call for projects of the BIENVENÜE program will be closed on February 15, 2022: 25 postdoctoral fellowships lasting 24 months are proposed, with project funding starting from September 2022.

* Agrocampus Ouest, IMT Atlantique, Inria, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Université Bretagne-Sud, Université de Rennes 1, Université Rennes 2, Sorbonne Université – Station Biologique de Roscoff.

Published on 11.02.2022


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