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Fusion Education and Training activities

The ITER project will require a wide range of highly skilled staff, especially in the areas of fusion engineering, project management, computer-aided design, quality assurance and other disciplines.

There are three types of human resources tools developed by the Fusion Programme: two schemes under the EFDA and the so called "Mobility Agreement".

1. The EFDA Training Schemes

A Europe wide training scheme was designed in the Sixth Euratom framework Programme and continues under the Seven Euratom Framework Programme (2007-2011).

There exist two schemes, currently coordinated by EFDA, on Training and Career Development for researchers which promotes links to universities, and support actions for the benefit of the fusion programme. The two schemes are as follows:

a) The Goal Oriented Training Programmes.

This scheme aims at providing a critical mass of qualified researchers and engineers in those areas of fusion energy research which are critical for the construction of ITER components and the realisation of the fast track to fusion energy, and in areas where a shortage of highly skilled professionals has been identified.

The scheme is operated through consortia of organisations involved in the European fusion programme and is accessible to experienced researchers, post graduates and engineers.

It will strengthen the collaboration between researchers organisations, integrating researchers also from new EU member states and transferring knowledge and know-how between fusion research laboratories and industry.

How to participate?

Each year EFDA calls for proposals for certain high priority areas. Eligible projects must be a collaboration of at least three fusion Associations. The collaborating Associations that have successfully applied recruit their trainees specifically for these training programmes. The trainees are engineers or scientists who have at least already gained a relevant diploma. The training is based around a project of up to three years with clearly defined goals. Together with their personal supervisor, the researchers establish a Personal Career Development Plan as a guideline for the training. One of these programmes is the European Network for ITER port-plug engineering.

Contact point

EFDA and any Association under EFDA

b) Fellowships

EFDA Fusion Researcher Fellowships support up to 10 post doctoral researchers each year. The grants are awarded within the Associations under EFDA coordination and last for up to two years.

They include high-level training for engineers and researchers at post-doctoral level, including the use of facilities in the programme as training platforms and dedicated seminars and workshops. This cohesive, but flexible framework should encourage excellence and career development of researchers who are already in the programme or attract high quality potential candidates from outside the programme.

How to participate?

Every year EFDA organises calls for proposals, which must be supported and sent by the heads of the Associations. The research project must be on a scientific or technical topic relevant to the objectives of the European Fusion Programme. The applying researchers must have already received a doctoral degree and must have started or are starting their career under a first post-doctoral contract in a European fusion laboratory.

Contact point:

EFDA and any Association under EFDA

2. The Mobility Agreement

Europe's leading position in fusion energy research is due to the combination of a single and fully integrated European fusion programme of the European Research Area (ERA) type, strong continuous Community support, coordination by Euratom, and the development of human capital in the Euratom Fusion Associations.

Ensuring adequate human resources and a high level of cooperation within the programme, both for the immediate and medium term needs of ITER, and for the further development of fusion, will be addressed by, among others, the support for the mobility of researchers between organisations participating in the programme, in order to promote enhanced collaboration and integration of the programme, and to foster international cooperation.

The Fusion Programme has defined a "Mobility Agreement" since 1983 which sets the framework for supporting the mobility of researchers and trainees between the organisations participating in the Programme in order to promote enhanced collaboration and integration of the activities carried out under the Euratom FP7 and to foster international cooperation. Synergies and complementarily with other themes will be highlighted. It will apply to:

  • Cooperative work between the Associations
  • Research work carried outside the territory of the Associations within the framework of an international co-operation agreement signed by Euratom (e.g. mobility actions to USA, Japan)
  • Participation in meetings for the purpose of coordinating research activities under EFDA (e.g. EFDA meetings)
  • Participation in meetings in the framework of international cooperation (e.g. ITER Council meetings)

The assigned person shall be staff employed by an Associate and the assignment has to be included in the Mobility Plan approved by the Association Steering Committee and foreseen in the Work Programme(s) of the Association(s) involved.