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Success story of Dennis James Madden, Minnesota, USA by Aleksandra Banic, EURAXESS Contact Point at the University Split, Croatia
Being a partner in PHYPODE (physiopathology of decompression) project, funded by the European Union under the Marie Curie Initial Training Networks Initiative, University of Split hosts an early stage researcher, Dennis James Madden. Dennis comes from Minnesota, USA and was recruited by the established research team from the Split School of Medicine led by Professor Zeljko Dujic, PhD.
"We were lucky to meet people who were ready to help with their experience and kindness. Euraxess Service Centre offered their full assistance and followed us from the first steps to the completion of the procedure. I also recall the dedication of Ms Sanja Lakovic from our Consulate General in Chicago in helping us to understand and go through the procedure of getting temporary stay permit, a prerequisite for any further document in Croatia" said Dennis.
Provided with all translations, approvals, permits, ID numbers, tax numbers, bank account, mobile phone and many other kinds of numbers, Dennis finally became an employee of the University of Split. Even though we had several obstacles, we dealt with all issues successfully.
Today, I am delighted to be Local Contact Point within EURAXESS Network, knowing that there is the whole team of reliable people who look after all details in the procedure of hosting foreign researchers in Croatia. Constantly following feedback from various sources, Euraxess Croatia recently issued a new revised guide for foreign researcher. Preparing to welcome our new young researcher starting her living here in Split, I am eager to explore this guide again and confirm its value once more and hopefully many times in the future.
"Beginning PhD studies and collaborative research in a foreign country is a challenging process even without the paperwork associated with foreign living. I cannot express my gratitude enough to Aleksandra, EURAXESS, and all the support and assistance I received from others along the way. Their help and continued support allows me to focus on research and becoming a professional. Their assistance makes international development not only a possibility, but an attractive and adventurous reality!"
Collaboration between Euraxess Centres in France and in Ireland to assist researcher
Eduardo Fuentes is a Peruvian researcher in the field of Agricultural science. He was awarded a fellowship in Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral Programme "Agricultural Transformation by Innovation" (AgTraIn), offered by a consortium of six European partner institutions, starting in October 2011. He spent 6 months in France (at Montpellier SupAgro and Cirad), 6 months in Peru conducting field work and was enrolled in a 6 month course in Ireland (University College Cork) starting on 15th September 2012. Back in France at the beginning of August, he applied for a visa at the Irish Embassy in Paris with the help of SupAgro's staff. This appeared to be a complex and long formality because the application was forwarded to Dublin Immigration office. As time was running out, Eduardo's situation became complicated (end of his residence permit, accommodation problems) and the course had already started in Cork.
At this stage, Eduardo approached the regional Euraxess Centre located at Agropolis International in Montpellier for assistance as he had already benefited from the services they provide for mobile researchers: Claudine Soudais decided to contact the Euraxess Centre in Dublin for advice. The answer from Magdalena Wislocka in Dublin was a great relief: "Yes, EURAXESS is the right place to deal with your visa query". The Irish services centre specialises in assisting researchers with their visa queries and they enthusiastically responded offering immediate assistance. The help of their colleagues in the Irish immigration office, with whom EURAXESS Ireland cooperates on a daily basis, was invaluable at this point. It turned out that a valid French residence permit was on the list of required documents for Eduardo's visa to be issued but the researcher was unable to provide it. Fortunately the Irish Immigration agreed to issue his visa straightaway and Eduardo was finally able to come to Cork at the beginning of October.
Eduardo's testimonial: "For me, the objective to start a PhD is to become a competent researcher. My research is conducted jointly between two universities, in France and in Ireland. However, when it was time to go to Ireland I had some difficulties to obtain the visa. So, I contacted first people at Euraxess Montpellier and then Euraxess Ireland. Both were very helpful, because they speeded up the process and kept me informed about the status of my application. Finally I obtained the visa and now that I have settled well in Cork, I am ready to continue with my research. Thank you Euraxess!!"
Marat Yakupov, Russia
At the end of 2009 Marat came to Poland together with his family to take part in one of Marie-Curie projects funded by the European Commission. Before that time he worked in Moscow as well as in Munich.
He arrived in Warsaw in August 2009 together with his wife and they were nicely surprised with a well-developed infrastructure and a high level of living standard in the capital city. At the end of December 2009 he signed an employment contract with his host organisation Institute of Electron Technology (ITE) in Warsaw. This was before he signed his contract that he met Piotr Bednarek, a lawyer from the Warsaw EURAXESS Services Centre who helped him prepare the contract, invitation letters and assisted him with all the paper work from that point on. What is more, Mr. Bednarek helped Marat and his family to contact the Polish Social Insurance Institution and deal with taxes. Only due to Peter's active position to help me, I decided to join the IAPP Marie Curie Action, otherwise I would resign due to complicated bureaucracy, which I would not deal with by myself, says Marat.
The contract was signed for 20 months, starting from January 1, 2010 until August 31, 2011. Although Marat started his work in Poland, his legislation procedure at the Warsaw Voivod Office for Foreigners was not yet completed. The procedure required a lot of paper work: reporting, exchange of e-mails and letters delivered by post, as well as submitting various documents, including five copies of application forms for each member of his family. The most unexpected request was a requirement for registration in Warsaw Register Office of their marital status and of their daughter's birth certificate. The original documents translated into Polish and certified by a public notary were not accepted. And here, again, another EURAXESS legal consultant Michal Lasota made a huge effort to go with Marat through the whole procedure, which took two additional months. Moreover, the Voivod Office asked Marat to deliver the permission to work in Poland. This, however, does not refer to researchers employed within the EU projects and is not required by the Polish national legislation. Therefore, after negotiations with higher authorities, the requirement was cancelled and Marat and his family eventually obtained a permission to stay in Poland until the last day of the contract, namely until August 31, 2011.
I would like to underline the tremendous help which was given to me by the EURAXESS Services Centre in Warsaw. I would not have gone through all the legislation steps without the assistance of the Centre's helpful personnel, says Marat who has been working in Warsaw since then.
Mr. Yakupov would also like to express his deep gratitude to Dr Daniel Tomaszewski from his host organisation for his kind help and involvement.
Martha Suarez Peñaloza, Columbia
I came to Warsaw, Poland, in November 2010 for a 20 month post-doc research position at ITE (Instytut Technologii Elektronowej). I'm involved as a Marie Curie fellow in the context of Marie Curie Actions Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways; specifically in the "Partnership for Cognitive Radio" (Par4CR) project.
After finishing my PhD and working in France I wanted to get some international experience. In the beginning, Poland was not one of my considerations. I used the Euraxess portal as well as other websites in order to access job vacancy descriptions. When I found my post-doc description on Euraxess, I realized that it was perfectly matched to my research experience. Then, I noticed it was in Poland, so I thought why not? Moving abroad was important for me and Poland was the opportunity to discover a side of Europe that was unknown to me. My husband supported me with this idea and here we are! I like this country very much! People at ITE have been extremely kind and I started Polish lessons even though I know it is not easy!
Settling in a new country is always an issue but I think in my case it has been time consuming but quite simple! I found a nice flat after arriving here in just 10 days! I had to deal with some administration formalities like registering at city offices, asking for an identification number (PESEL), registering for a polish tax number, etc For these administrative tasks, Dr Jerzy Synka from ITE and Anna Dorodzinska from Warsaw EURAXESS Services Centre have helped me a lot! And I'm very grateful for that! For example, I couldn't have done the registration office without Anna! I went crazy when I found out I was required to complete four copies of an 11 page document, only available in Polish! And, that ALL 4 copies had to be filled out by hand with a blue pen! I guess these kinds of administrative tasks could be simplified!
My general impression of Poland now, after 4 months living in Warsaw, is very positive! I'm more involved in my own research project now, I feel integrated at ITE and the warm season is coming!
Jaqueline Godoy and LuísMesquita
"It is challenging to provide a testimony about my experience with EURAXESS in the CZECH REPUBLIC; the reason is the following: what they have done for us is far beyond our expectation and everything I had hoped that would happen.
My husband and I came from Brazil to the Czech Republic in order to follow part of my PhD program at "The Institute of Science" in Prague. Considering the long waiting period to get the visa, the vice-consul of the Czech Republic's Consulate in São Paulo advised us to travel to the Czech Republic, start the PhD research and wait for the answer here in Prague.
This is in fact what we did; but, days and weeks passed, but no answer came in respect to our visa application. We were at the verge of going back to Brazil, because the deadline to stay within the Schengen area was about to expire with consequences that were really severe. My scholarship would be automatically suspended; I would be asked to reimburse all the financial support received until that very moment, and my PhD would be jeopardized, with high risk of being interrupted and suspended.
I was told about EURAXESS at the point where we had no hope left of solving the visa problem. In fact, someone at the Institute of Science in Prague, were I went to seek support on this problematic matter, gave me this precious hint.
With the blink of an eye they solved all our problems and even our resident permission was granted. It was like a dream come true.
As a result to this I was able to conclude successfully my research program in Prague. All this thanks to EURAXESS and the Institute of Science of Czech Republic, who were so helpful to me at the most critical moment.
Thank you EURAXESS for everything, I have no ways to express my thanks to you all."
Christophe from France:
"In cases like mine, I can't imagine how the system could be any better"
Christophe moved from France to Norway in January 2008 to accept a post-doctoral research fellowship at Physics of Geological Processes, a Centre of Excellence at UiO (University of Oslo), where Karin Brastad, of the EURAXESS Local Contact Point at the University, was ready with information and assistance. "It was really helpful to have a contact person to turn to for all the necessary information," Christophe recalls.
He is pleased with his overall reception at the UiO and found the Norwegian system for receiving foreign researchers to be very straightforward. Getting his Norwegian national identity number, the key to a smooth transition, went quickly.
The Norwegian identity number is the key to opening a bank account, obtaining a tax card, setting up salary payment, being assigned a local doctor, and many other necessities. He was assigned a personal identity number so quickly that he was able to start working straightaway.
Christophe came to Norway with his partner, who is also employed at UiO. What attracted the couple to Norway in the first place was their desire to experience something different and to try living in a country where people have a closeness to nature. Other factors were the high-calibre research being conducted at the Physics of Geological Processes centre and the good working conditions.
"I've really gotten to know the group at the centre, Christophe adds, - and it is an easy place to integrate into." The working language is English, and all the information is prepared in or translated into English.
Christophe's post-doctoral research fellowship draws to a close in 2010; where he will head from there is still unknown.
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.'