July 2010, 1st edition

Your EURAXESS - easy access to assistance!

Over 500 EURAXESS Services Staff ready to assist researchers & their employers

Taking up a research position in another country gives researchers the opportunity to share their knowledge, learn new approaches and work with the best minds in their field. Despite the undisputed advantages of a mobile career, moving to, and setting up home in, another country can be a trying experience. This is why the EURAXESS Services centres have been set up across Europe to assist researchers and their family in every step of their move, starting in the home country and continuing until they have settled in a new country.

Similarly, EURAXESS Services also provides assistance to employers, be they private companies, research institutes or universities, in hiring researchers from abroad.

EURAXESS Services is here to remove red tape and make life easier for researchers and employers. Personalised assistance is provided from over 500 staff in 200 centres located in 35 European countries. This ever growing network has been expanding over the last two years to South Eastern Europe, with EURAXESS Services centres opening in Croatia and Serbia.

In Croatia, researchers and employers are well-catered for, with one Services Centre in Zagreb and a further six Local Contact Points located in universities and research institutes around the country. So far, mostly incoming researchers have benefitted from the Services Centre, requesting further information on entry conditions and the scientific visa package (link to scientific visa section). Croatia is a popular destination for researchers from Germany, UK, Russia, but also China and India.

EURAXESS Services Croatia has also been active in promoting their services with Croatian employers, whether industry or research institutes. They found that employers are still reluctant to hire foreign researchers due to heavy administrative procedures. However, with the free help from staff and their expertise in overcoming these hurdles, employers can benefit as much from EURAXESS Services as researchers themselves.

EURAXESS Services in Serbia, established in 2008, is putting together an impressive network of 5 Services Centres and 33 Local Contact Points. Activities are still being established, for researchers and employers to ask for advice and help directly from the Services Centres. Currently, the majority of enquiries come from outgoing researchers.

EURAXESS Serbia is very active online, providing up to date information on their website and even on their Facebook page which has so far generated 217 "fans" so far. There you will find pictures and lots of tips for mobile researchers.

The last two months saw the setting up of EURAXESS Services in Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina - watch this space for the launch of their websites! More EURAXESS Services centres are scheduled to open in near future.

New Project:

Ireland INSPIREs International Research Community

A total of €12 million will flow into the INSPIRE scheme, which funds talented Irish researchers to carry out their research internationally. €5 million is funded through the European Union's Marie Curie COFUND scheme to complement €7m provided by the Irish Government.

Eighteen researchers will benefit from INSPIRE to spend time at some of the world's most prestigious research institutions, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia and Yale, the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford and the Max Planck Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, Germany. The overall goal of the scheme is to encourage international mobility amongst Irish based researchers at the early stage of their experienced researcher career, followed by a return phase in Ireland.

The COFUND scheme of Marie Curie Actions offer additional funding to existing or new regional and national fellowship programmes for research training and career development.

Success story:

Oksana from Ukraine: "It is very difficult to overestimate the support from EURAXESS Services"

In 2008, Oksana moved from Ukraine to Czech Republic with her husband to pursue her PhD in Medicine at the Institute of the Experimental Medicine of the Academy of Sciences. However, her lack of information on the necessary visa formalities for travelling within the EU ended in turmoil while simply hoping to return to her two-year old daughter for Christmas in the Ukraine.

Not knowing that her visa did not allow her an additional European Union's (or Member State?) country transit, she was deported from Poland to her home country. It even went as far as her named being filed in the Schengen Information System, thus implying that she could not be granted a renewal of her visa.

Before the expiration of her visa, hoping to pursue her studies, she approached the EURAXESS Services centre in Prague for help, determined to avoid similar problems which could jeopardize her future career and family life. With a great deal of efforts, determination and knowledge of administrative procedures by the Czech and Polish EURAXESS staff, Oksana was granted a Czech national visa which ultimately ensured she could continue her studies, and still visit her family back in Ukraine. In addition they managed to remove her name from the Schengen Information System!

"Moving to a new place is always quite challenging, especially when you move to another country. Besides such basic things as to get used to a new way of life in a new society you face lots of paper formalities which complicate your life greatly, especially at the beginning and without knowing a language. That is why it is extremely helpful for a foreigner to receive some assistance and professional advice, which we have found in the EUREXASS Services Centre. It is very difficult to overestimate the support we received. I would like to thank one more time the EURAXESS team for giving me a helping hand and being there for me when the times were so difficult."


EURAXESS at the World Expo 2010

EURAXESS marked its presence at the World Expo 2010 Shanghai, China during the EU-China Science and Technology Week organised as part of the Belgium Pavilion.

From 15 to 18 June 2010, a highly focused programme of science policy sessions, scientific workshops and media briefings at the EU pavilion allowed invited participants to showcase joint achievements, exchange success stories, and explore new perspectives and collaboration opportunities between European and Chinese research organisations, focusing on the Shanghai Expo's theme of "Better City, Better Life".

EURAXESS, together with the Marie Curie programme, was presented at the Expo on 15 June. Anna Karaoglou, Kitty Fehringer, Stefania Bettini and Sohail Luka, as well as Marian Benjdia and Professor Qingsong Liu made an impressive presentation on "Europe for Researchers - Opportunities for Funding, Careers and Mobility" to an audience of leading scientists, journalists and representatives of industry, academia and government from the European Union and China.

The World Expo 2010 will run until 31 October 2010.