Between November 15th and 16th 2017, the periodic BHO meeting was organized in Brussels by the EC. During this meeting the following topics were discussed:
EURAXESS Policy Updates
The H2020 Science with and for Society 2018-2020 Work Programme has been published in October 2017, including several funding actions specific to EURAXESS:
- SwafS-06-2018: Science4Refugees follows the call in the previous work programme (SwafS-26-2017) and aims at funding direct actions by universities, NGOs and EURAXESS Service Centres bringing involuntary immigrants with a refugee background into the European research labor market in the new host country.
- SwafS-07-2019: EURAXESS TOP V which like the previous TOP projects is aimed at further intensifying the services provided by the EURAXESS Service Centres through the national coordinators (BHOs).
- EURAXESS Portal + IS Coordinator to fund the new European portal and information system developments along this period.
- EURAXESS Biennial Conference to fund the international event bringing together all national networks organized by the EC every two years. During this BHO meeting Prague was officially proposed, although candidates can still forward their proposals and the decision will be announced in the BHO meeting of spring 2018.
- Promotion of the EURAXESS initiative especially for funding on-line actions promoting the European Portal and thus increasing the number of job, hosting and funding offers published.
- International EURAXESS Conference to reinforce the visibility of the EURAXESS Worldwide initiative on site
- EURAXESS WORLDWIDE implementation to manage the EURAXESS Worldwide initiative, including the potential expansion to other regions (South Korea will be included with EURAXESS Japan in 2018, and reaching out to Australia/New Zealand and Russia is being explored).
The High Level Group on Maximizing the Impact of EU Research and Innovation Programmes have recently published the LAB – FAB – APP: Investing in the European future we want report (AKA as Lamy Report), which includes a number of recommendations which are relevant for EURAXESS in regards to modernizing, rewarding and providing resources for the education and training of people for a creative and innovative Europe.
The H2020 Interim Report providing the evidence-base for the report of the High Level Group is also available for consultation.
The Steering Group on Human Resources and Mobility have published their two reports of 2017 on Open Science skills and rewards, which are worth consulting as it seems that Open Science will be a cross-cutting topic across the future FP9.
RESAVER became operational in April 2017 in the model of supplementary pension. Currently efforts are being done to expand to more research organizations, although there are still legal barriers in many EU countries.
There are also advances in setting up a RESAVER insurance model (i.e., private pension open to any individual researcher) but the main challenge here is identifying a valid insurance partner with sufficient international presence. The aim is having something already running by September 2018.
EURAXESS members are requested to contribute to the visibility of RESAVER to continued raising interest and awareness. BHOs can provide a contact within the EC to provide technical support with this promotion through info days, publications, etc.
So far, more than 380 institutions have obtained the HR Excellence logo. Since the launching of the new reinforced process in 2017, not too many new requests have been submitted, although many are pending resolution right now.
In order to improve the procedure, an on-line evaluation tool for following-up the process is under development. The aim is having it running by March 2018 and it is expected that new requests will greatly benefit from it. For those requests which may be in process at that time, further support will be offered from the EC to get integrated in the tool.
Since its launch, the portal has received almost 2 million visitors. The most common countries from which users accessed are Italy, Spain and France, although a very strong increase has been noted for UK and India.
A new recognition, the Seal of Excellence, will be visible in the organization and researcher profiles of the portal users who have submitted excellent proposals to H2020, but which have not got the funding (e.g., due to budget limitation).
Regarding the EURAXESS members, the possibility of having the BHOs assigning the role of national portal editors to other network members is going to be implemented. This would provide rights to for publishing news and events on behalf the Portal Administrators.
The Extranet will also have new implementations by the end of the year:
- EURAXESS members will be able to edit the “group” category in their personal profiles to tailor the communications received through the Emailer.
- A new section with e-tools is already available and will be populated with the outcomes of the different EURAXESS projects. Currently, the TOP III Service Dimensioning Tool is already accessible (when logged in).
- In January 2018, a specific tool for BHOs will also be created as a trial to allow national networks to report on their activities beyond the submission of statistics. BHOs will be requested at the beginning of the year to define the action plan for their national network upon which they will have to report, first in June and later by the end of the year, to highlight achievements.