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An open labour market for researchers

Facilitating mobility, supporting training and ensuring attractive careers

While researcher mobility contributes to excellence, several obstacles stand in the way of a genuine European research labour market. One of the most important is the lack of transparent, open and merit-based recruitment, which makes research careers less attractive and hampers mobility, Gender
equality and research performance.

Giving non-nationals/ non-residents access to national grants and making them portable across borders would make mobility easier. In some cases, legal and administrative barriers prevent this. Initiatives such as 'Money Follows Researcher' show how those barriers can be removed and how Member States and research organisations can organise access to and portability of national grants, while upholding the interests of all parties.

Other obstacles include human resources policies which result in poor career prospects for young researchers, inadequate Gender
equality practices, social security obstacles and, insufficient academia-business mobility with only one in six researchers in academia having experience in the private sector. Obstacles to the fair recognition of academic diplomas also persist.

Member States are invited to:

  • Remove legal and other barriers to the application of open, transparent and merit based recruitment of researchers

  • Remove legal and other barriers which hamper cross-border access to and portability of national grants

  • Support implementation of the Declaration of Commitment to provide coordinated personalised information and services to researchers through the pan-European EURAXESS network

  • Support the setting up and running of structured innovative doctoral training programmes applying the Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training

  • Create an enabling framework for the implementation of the HR Strategy for Researchers incorporating the Charter & Code

Research stakeholder organisations are invited to:

  • Advertise all vacancies on the EURAXESS Jobs portal using the common profiles established in the European Framework for Research Careers

  • Fill research positions according to open, transparent and merit based recruitment procedures proportionate to the level of the position in line with the basic principles of the Charter & Code and including non-EU nationals

  • Develop strategies to support the career development of researchers in line with the HR Strategy for Researchers

  • Define and implement principles for accessibility to and portability of national grants

  • Provide structured doctoral training based on the Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training

  • Develop and implement structured programmes to increase mobility between industry and academia

The Commission will:

  • Strengthen collaboration and coordination in the EURAXESS network so that it becomes a means for researchers to access tailor-made assistance

  • Support the setting up of a European Accreditation Mechanism for Charter & Codebased human resources management in universities and publicly-funded research institutions

  • Support the work of a 'pathfinder group' of countries for the achievement of automatic recognition of comparable degrees

  • Take initiatives to address social security barriers for researchers in the EU and further facilitate the entry and stay of third country national researchers by:

    • Clarifying in a Communication EU rules on coordination of social security schemes for groups of workers with a high level of intra-EU mobility, including researchers

    • Resuming work on a pension portability Directive setting minimum standards for the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights

    • Supporting stakeholders in setting up pan-European supplementary pension fund(s) for researchers

    • Reviewing Directive 2005/71/EC on a specific procedure for admitting third country nationals for the purposes of scientific research.

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