Inventory of Post-Doctoral Schemes in Europe

René-Luc Benichou

Even incomplete and in a draft version, the inventory represents a valuable guide for young researchers.

According to a survey conducted by the European Commission, at least 11,000 post-doc fellowships were awarded across the European Union in 2004, including more than 2,000 by pan-European organisations, mainly through the Commission's Marie Curie programme. In average, the duration of a post-doc is two years and the fellow's annual income is € 22,700.

Having said that, the European market for fellowships can surely benefit from being better structured. Actually, only France, Germany, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom have programmes awarding more than 200 positions a year. The Commission's inventory shows also that few schemes are part of a well-defined career path, such as the five-year schemes, or schemes that build a bridge with the private sector, or elite schemes that prepare researchers for a career in research institutes or universities.

Whatever that may be, the inventory of post-doctoral schemes established by the Commission represents a valuable guide for young researchers, even if it is unexhaustive and still in a draft version.

Source: newsletter 'Europe 4 Researchers', issue 2, November 2005.