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Feature: Eracareers takes mobility one step further

01 July 2004 - In the year since it was developed, the online European Researcher’s Mobility Portal has undergone some major evolutions in order to better serve research professionals and create a more favourable environment for them in the EU. By providing a gateway to opportunities across Europe, Eracareers helps to promote the cross-border mobility required to make the European Research Area (ERA) a success.

As the European Researcher’s Mobility Portal (Eracareers) celebrates its first anniversary of successful activities, it has not stood still. The Commission-run website has launched a number of new services and tools to help researchers in their hunt for new opportunities.

These include the development of national mobility portals, the expansion of Eracareers’ versatile and powerful vacancies database – which provides a growing number of available vacancies throughout Europe, the newest of which are directly visible on the homepage under the ‘What’s new on this site’ section - and an improved search function of openings under the EU’s Marie Curie programme. These enhancements help make the portal an even more unique web resource because it overcomes a recognised obstacle in the cross-border mobility of researchers: a lack of information on available opportunities.

Eracareers overcomes this dearth by providing links to hundreds of research organisations offering grants, fellowships, training opportunities and jobs across Europe and internationally. It also allows researchers to post their CVs and research organisations to publish their vacancies – all of which are free of charge.

By making the exciting research opportunities in Europe more visible, the European Commission hopes the portal will help plug the brain drain that is seeing some of the continent’s top talent being lured across the Atlantic.

A window on Europe
Eracareers aims to become a one-stop shop for researchers seeking to advance their careers and personal development by moving to other countries. In addition to its own extensive database of opportunities, the portal contains a wealth of practical information on living, working and relaxing in the 32 European countries involved. As part of its newly enhanced service, Eracareers has launched the first batch of national mobility portals – Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Portugal. It plans to bring the remaining 28 participating countries online in the near future.

The new national mobility portals provide a wealth of country-specific information, usually in English, but also in the local language to help incoming researchers find opportunities in the country, prepare for a stay there, and settle in once they arrive. In addition to local vacancy listings, visitors to national portals can find such practical information as applying for visas and work permits, childcare facilities, and language courses.

Centres of attention
Eracareers also provides links to national ‘mobility centres’ that are part of the recently launched ERA-MORE network. These national contact points assist researchers on a one-to-one basis before, during and after a training period abroad. They help with all matters relating to the researchers’ professional and daily lives in their host country, such as bureaucratic matters, finding accommodation and schools, as well as learning about the culture of the host country.

Eracareers and ERA-MORE are part of a package of Commission-backed human resources initiatives – including the recent proposal for a directive on ‘scientific visas’ for third country researchers and the 2005 ‘Researchers in Europe’ Initiative – seeking to improve the mobility of European researchers and make the EU a more attractive destination for international talent.

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last update: 30-06-2004