October 2010, 3rd Edition

EURAXESS Rights creates the right environment for mobile researchers

The European Commission is committed to setting high standards for rights of researchers and those of their employers and funders. The ultimate objective of EURAXESS Rights is to create an attractive, open and sustainable European labour market for researchers. The “European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers” set out these rules and obligations, which can be viewed here.

Both “Charter & Code” value the importance of mobility whether geographical, intersectoral, or between public and private sectors, as an important means of enhancing scientific knowledge and professional development at any stage of a researcher's career.

To facilitate mobility, the European Commission and its Member States have made significant progress in the implementation of the Scientific Visa Package. It is a vital instrument helping researchers obtain permission to enter, stay and work in the European Union Member States for the purpose of carrying out scientific research. It is designed to make the process of receiving a residence permit easier for researchers wishing to carry out research for a short-term (up to 3 months) or long-term (more than 3 months) in the EU.

Another important issue for mobile researchers is their social security coverage, especially their pension rights. The Charter establishes the need to ensure that mobile researchers are adequately covered. In addition, the European Commission is committed to delivering a concrete follow-up to the creation of a pan-European pension fund for researchers. A feasibility study recommends the establishment of the right to choose a "virtual pension-home," which would provide the stability that a highly mobile researcher needs.

A report with recommendations on improving the social security protection of mobile researchers has also in the meantime been finalised.

The European Commission is addressing the pension challenge for all European citizens too, in a public consultation inviting all interested parties to contribute views until 15th November 2010.

New Project:

Medical University of Graz awarded HR Excellence in Research

The Medical University of Graz, Austria, is one of the many organisations which decided to adhere to the principles of the “European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers”. By successfully adopting the principles into their own Human Resources policies, they have now successfully earned the “HR Excellence in Research” logo. This has not only allowed for more visibility at international level, it has had a tremendous effect on the university’s ranking, jumping 150 places up.

Mag. Helga Widowitz, Director of HR, has lead the process of the “Human Resources Strategy for Researchers”, which provides a framework for implementing the “Charter & Code”. By incorporating the principles of the Charter & Code, the university created tailor-made highly professional structures and standardised processes.

It has been a major effort, but is already bearing fruit, says Mag. Helga Widowitz. Benefits include

  • A better working environment, where researchers feel at ease
  • Easier comparison between the Medical University of Graz and other international universities
  • Involvement in international exchange of best practices
  • Increased attractiveness to funders and investors from business and industry

Success story:

Nobel Prize in Physics awarded this year to the EU-funded researchers,
Professor Konstantin Novoselov and Professor Andre Geim

Being awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics is a testament to the hard work carried out by Professor Novoselov, a 36-year old Russian and UK citizen and the youngest Nobel laureate since 1973, along with Professor Andre Geim of the University of Manchester in the UK.

This award is a recognition of the studies developed by the two scientists on "Graphene", a one-atom-thick crystal with unusual quantum conductive properties that is set to revolutionise electronics and photonics such as computers, sensors and solar cells.

In a recent scientific paper describing the "Graphene" discovery, Professor Novoselov said: '[It] has opened up the increasingly rich possibilities in the development of future electronic devices from this truly versatile material.'

The prize also puts the spotlight on the steps taken by the EU to promote scientists and their research, as well as cooperation in Europe and beyond.

Commenting on the Nobel Prize win and what it means for Europe, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: 'Europe can be proud of them and of their work. This is a first for the European Research Council, and I hope more Nobel Prizes will follow as a result of this valuable European investment in the best scientists and in their innovative research in Europe.'


European Research Career Fair “RESEARCH”, Paris

The European Research and Career Fair will take place on the 19 November 2010 at Le Cenquatre in Paris. The event organised by APEC, a French Management and Jobs Association, aims at promoting and enhancing research careers in Europe.

RESEARCH will bring together a variety of stakeholders involved in research, ranging from European companies, national and intra-European research centres to European universities. Over 1500 PhD students and researchers from all over Europe will have the opportunity to meet well-known figures from the world of research and representatives of major institutions to discuss innovation strategies and new career prospects. In addition, an exhibition area will feature around 60 major players from the research community, with information on career developments and opportunities. Among many other stands, there will be a joint Marie Curie Actions, European Research Council and EURAXESS - Researchers in Motion one.

For further information and to register on-line please click here.