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#EU4PHD: focus on some partners

We invited some of our European partners to talk about researchers’ mobility and career development within their organization during #EU4PHD. We asked them to tell us why they decided to collaborate with a French association like ABG and what they expect from this event and onwards!

Presentation of our partners for this interview

Virginie de Landsheer: HR recruiter at Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH)

Rocio Perez: Head of HR at Instituto Catalan de Nanociencia y Nanotecnologica (ICN2)

Dr Christiane Abele: project manager for fundit.fr

Sarah Blackford: career development consultant

Why did they decide to participate?

How are mobility and career development implemented in their organisations?

Their collaboration with ABG

Why participating to "Researchers without borders" (#EU4PHD)?

Virginie, Rocio, Christiane and Sarah, thanks a lot for taking the time to answer our questions! It’s a pleasure to have you as speakers and exhibitors for this unique event dedicated to researchers’ mobility and career development. Can you tell us why you decided to be part of it?

Virginie de Landsheer (LIH): LIH is the Luxembourg Institute of Health. A few months ago, LIH was invited to join the event on researchers' European mobility and career development taking place in Paris in December 2017. Without any hesitation, the HR department decided to participate to represent the institute. Indeed, attracting talents involves the promotion of “Research in Luxembourg” well beyond the country’s borders. This event will be a fantastic opportunity to meet potential candidates for open positions and stakeholders active and/or interested in a research career.

Rocio Perez (ICN2): ICN2 is a research institute in nanosciences and nanotechnology in Barcelona, with a label of excellence “Severo Ochoa” granted by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. It is a pleasure for us to be part of events that contribute to researcher’s career development. Furthermore, if it has been organized taking into account the cultural diversity in Europe, which we highly value.

Dr. Christiane Abele (fundit): Fundit (fundit.fr) is a web platform for research mobility and funding which has been developed since 2015 by Réseau français d'études avancées (RFIEA) foundation, a French foundation for scientific  cooperation. We are convinced that Fundit is a extremely helpful, simple and intuitive tool for the French and international research community in the social sciences and humanities (SSH). Such a web platform is unique in France and (to our knowledge) does not exist in other European countries. The Mobility and Career Development Event organised by ABG, the French-German University and the French-Italian University is a great opportunity for us to make Fundit more widely known the the research community, to discuss with users and receive feedback and input.

Sarah Blackford (CARE): CARE (Career Advisors for Researchers in Europe) is a network of European professional career advisors for researchers. We are over 50 members up to now. As such, we provide regularly one-to-one career support to PhDs, which we will happily do during this event! The bonus for us is to meet up with some members of the CARE group because we don’t have so many opportunities to do it. And it’s a perfect opportunity to promote our network!

Mobility and career development in your organisations

So, you are all involved in the on- and outgoing mobility and career development of researchers. What does “mobility” and “career development” mean for your organization? How do you implement such values?

Virginie de Landsheer (LIH): LIH’s commitment to the European Charter for Researchers enabled it in 2010 to receive the label “HR Excellence in Research” from the European Commission. This recognition resulted in a wealth of opportunities for LIH’s researchers for professional development and career orientation. In the last years, LIH was able to set up an internal yearly training series and several active seminar programs specifically dedicated to early-stage researchers. The institute also co-organises career events with the University of Luxembourg and the public research institutions in Luxembourg. LIH aims as well at developing the mobility offer for its researchers and considers the collaboration with ABG as key in this process.

Rocio Perez (ICN2): Our institute believes that mobility is the essence of the researcher’s career development. Science is per se international and diverse, culturally speaking. Our contribution as human resources department is to make ICN2 a workplace with an attractive and friendly institutional environment. We provide effective projects and tools for our researchers’ career development always taking into account the personal needs of them in each situation.

Dr. Christiane Abele (Fundit): Fundit collects and publishes calls for applications/calls for projects for research mobility and funding programs worldwide. Access to the platform is free - we are funded by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research (MESRI). All information published on our website is up-to-date and accurately checked by our content manager. Users can also subscribe to automatic e-mail alerts concerning their fields of interest and get involved in our discussion fora and on social media.
The RFIEA foundation who runs Fundit works since 2007 to enhance the attractiveness of French SSH research by supporting the development of institutes for advanced study in France. The foundation relies on a networked approach and a large number of institutional partnerships, both European and international, which give it a recognized national scope. The foundation undertakes key projects (Labex RFIEA+, EURIAS programme, Fundit) to serve the institutes for advanced study and, more broadly, the internationalisation of French SSH research.

Sarah Blackford (CARE): We started our group during the ESOF conference in Copenhagen in 2014. We keep participating in this European event by submitting for each edition a career session (see report in Manchester 2016). We continue to animate our LinkedIn group, which aims to assist and enhance researcher mobility between countries by sharing information and advice, as well as offering support across career sector boundaries.

About your cooperation with ABG

To conclude, can you tell us more about the stand of your current and future cooperation with ABG? Which benefits do you see from it for your organization and your researchers?

Virginie de Landsheer (LIH): The collaboration of the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) with Association Bernard Grégory started a little less than a decade ago. Back then, it mainly consisted in the advertisement of academic positions on ABG’s website. ABG has an excellent reputation in the research field, especially in France, and the job section of its website guarantees a high visibility for job offers. LIH has always been receiving interesting applications through ABG, especially for PhD and post-doctoral researcher positions.
Moreover, ABG, in cooperation with the Franco-German University (FGU), is very active in promoting the career orientation and development of early-stage researchers through workshops and job fairs. For three years now, LIH also collaborates with ABG on these aspects. Hence, ABG was invited to give two career workshops at LIH in 2015 and 2016 targeting senior doctoral candidates who aimed at entering the private sector after their PhD. A third workshop is planned for beginning of next year. Since 2015, ABG organises the yearly four-day career workshop Crossborder Postdoctoriales in Luxembourg jointly with the main players in public research in Luxembourg, including LIH. Thanks to this partnership, LIH can send two to three highly motivated postdoctoral researchers to this event each year, thus giving them support in their career choices. LIH considers ABG as a important partner at all levels and hopes to continue this wonderful and fruitful collaboration.

Rocio Perez (ICN2): We collaborate with ABG since 2016 when Bérénice contacted us with the purpose of made wider the Association’s Networking in Europe.  As a result of this meeting, we stablished a fruitful relationship based on mutual confidence. ICN2, the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology benefits from the expertise of one partner that understands and gives solutions to the needs of our researchers.   

Dr. Christiane Abele (fundit): I have been contacted by Bérénice from ABG, asking me to present Fundit at the Mobility and Career Development Event. We at RFIEA have been following ABG's activities for quite a while and are very aware of the potential for collaboration between our two institutions, so we are very glad the opportunity now presents itself.

Sarah Blackford (CARE): My collaboration with ABG began about 5 years ago when I co-founded the ‘Careers Advisers supporting Researchers in Europe’ - CARE - network with Barbara Janssens (DKFZ). The CARE initiative, which was launched during the ESOF2014 conference in Copenhagen, brought together career professionals based in a wide range of European countries, who work primarily with PhD students and postdoctoral researchers to improve their employability and employment prospects. ABG was already well established in this area and as an open, friendly and professional organisation, they are a valued member of the CARE group, particularly with regard to their connections with companies and insights into industry careers, especially in France and Germany. Since that first CARE meeting, members have met formally and informally in each other’s countries to discuss new projects and to socialise and network with each other and to share information. Earlier this year I visited Berenice Kimpe at the ABG office in Paris; we had previously delivered a CV workshop in Lyon. We will very much look forward to a continuing productive partnership with ABG and all those who assist PhD students and researchers with their career ambitions.

Virginie, Rocio, Christiane and Sarah, we are very happy to welcome you as speakers for #EU4PHD and we are also looking forward to working with you on new projects!