All aspects of research funding, in its full complexity

Marie Curie: Inspiring millions, advancing European science

She received two Nobel Prizes, has served as an inspirational figure to countless women (and men) in science, and has a Continent-wide fellowship program named after her to promote the brightest scientific minds and innovations. The Marie Curie Fellowships, administered by the EU, are so prestigious that recipients regularly gush about its virtue as a career game-changer. Only 8% of applicants receive fellowships each year, but this low rate of acceptance does not deter scholars; on the contrary, says Jordi Curell Gotor, who oversees the Marie Curie Fellowships as Director Lifelong learning, higher education and international affairs, DG Education and Culture, European Commission. The number of applications continues to rise annually. So far, 50,000 researchers from 120 nations have received these prestigious grants since the program’s inception in 1996. Read more [...]

Utrecht staff and students say no to physics cuts

Bright and early on 3 January 2011, 140 physics lecturers, students and other staff at Utrecht University in the Netherlands made their way from the physics department to the offices of the university administration. The purpose of the demonstration was to submit a petition objecting to proposed cutbacks, and to the removal of department head Casper Erkelens after he refused to sign a document agreeing to the reforms. Read more [...]

Sustaining research through the economic downturn – in the UK and Europe

On the 6th and 7th of September 2010, the historic Midland hotel in central Manchester, UK was filled with nearly 400 participants attending the Vitae Researcher Development Conference. The discussion of ideas on professional development and support for researchers at this year’s annual gathering is of particular importance, as it comes cheek by jowl with the UK spending review outcomes to be announced this Autumn – and with an expectation of hard times to come. The conference participants were set to discuss the new political context, to gather evidence of the contribution of researchers to the academic base and to economic and cultural prosperity, and to address future skill sets of researchers and the UK’s place in the global research environment. Read more [...]

Vikings get ahead in science

Be brave and aggressive, be prepared and be a good merchant. These so called “Viking Laws” are, in a nutshell, the advice of Zsolt Kajocsos, Deputy Director of KFKI, for young researchers who want to be successful in science. In the ESOF session on “Structured doctoral training and postdoctoral mobility” different approaches to university management of high quality academic education, research and innovation in Europe were discussed. Young researchers were encouraged to be strong and learn how to sell themselves and their research despite how their university manages doctoral training. Read more [...]