European Exchange Programs for International Research: Q&A
Q: Does EURAXESS also provide opportunities for collaborative research grants, short term travel grants for faculty?
Viki: I want to stress that EURAXESS is not a funding lobby, we do not give out funding for any type of scholarship but we do give out information about them. Yes, there are different funding schemes that are available for travel grants or other opportunities. Those are the grants that we are assigned to the newsletter every month. If there is a call available, it will be listed in our newsletter.
Q: Is EURAXESS only about research jobs, or also for alternative careers for scientists like science management, etc.?
Viki: For the past couple of years used to be only science-oriented. We do cover all scientific fields. But now, we are broadening up because the private and public research organizations that are contributing their positions to the website are not just strictly science-based. So, we are opening up our listings to opportunities in innovation, technology, and other non-science-type jobs that have to do with research
Q: Is the European funding only for already established researchers or will it also support graduate students/doctoral researchers/research projects by very young researchers?
Viki: As I mentioned, our target group starts with graduate students who are looking for PhD programs, and goes beyond.
Q: I am a graduate student in materials chemistry in Cameroon. I'd like to know if the EURAXESS program provides opportunities for Africans.
Viki: We do not have a limitation when it comes to nationality. So, our programs and jobs are open to all nationalities and all researchers from the target group that I mentioned in the previous answer.
Q: Does EURAXESS help with visas for spouses who want to work in the country I am going to?
Viki: Absolutely, this is one of the services that the EURAXESS service centers do very well since we are aware of the researchers traveling with their family members. So if you are moving with a spouse, EURAXESS research centers will help to obtain a visa for the spouse and also the children.
Q: How important is language to an international move where English is not the native tongue?
Viki: Europe has changed in the past decade, in terms of being able to speak English. Now, all research in Europe is done in English. People do not need to be afraid of going there and not knowing the language. When it comes to research when it comes to labs, offices, and careers most of the researchers are very international, and you will be communicating in English for your work.
That said, of course it is always good to know a little bit of the local language. For this, I would advise you to contact the EURAXESS service centers because they have very good tips on how to find the local language centers, and how to find lessons for spouses and children.
Q: Does EURAXESS help to connect researchers to mentors?
Jean-Michel: Actually, in the US and Canada, unlike other places, there is no “national contact points” for scientific collaboration as there is in Europe. However, Viki and I have been trained to serve this role with the European delegations in Washington DC and of course the member states embassies based in DC. This role is very important, given the power of the networks of the embassy’s technology offices, and their helpfulness in putting together institutions and people to carry out a joint research project.
Q: Are there any specific opportunities for scientists older than 55?
Viki: We do not have an age limitation for any of the programs when it comes to experienced researchers. They would have to look into a program itself for more information on limitation or age criteria.
Q: Does EURAXESS list any programs not involving Europe? I am a researcher from China, could I find opportunities in Brazil? Kenya? Singapore?
Viki: We have representatives based in Brazil, so that might be the first point of reference to this person looking for funding schemes and opportunities. You can look for opportunities for collaboration and funding through the website, the Brazilian part and sign up for the monthly newsletter or contact them by email.
Q: What are the typical success rates for funding schemes? Are they expected to be changed during Horizon 2020, or not?
Jean-Michel: That’s a question we get very often. More recently, our programs generate a lot of applications. So, the success rates have been decreasing a bit over the past years. I would say that on an average, the submission of proposals for training and mobility programs is between 15-20%, which is not that bad.