With the title “The researcher career path in Europe: is it (im)possible in Spain?”, the Universidad de Castilla La Mancha (UCLM) organized the first informative session for students and researchers in which funding opportunities, and professional alternatives were discussed. Also and where a number of workshops about transferrable skills and other research related topics were discussed organized. The event took place on the 23rd and 24th of May in Toledo and more than 280 students and researchers participated.

The Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, Ms. Carmen Vela, opened the event and presented the main characteristics and achievements of the Spanish System for Science and Technology.

Also, the ERC and MSCA national contact points (Esther Rodríguez and Jesús Rojo) explained the main characteristics of both programmes and how to apply. The EURAXESS initiative and all the services put in place for researchers where presented by Xavier Eekhout.

Other speakers narrated their own professional trajectories in academia, in industry, inside and outside Spain. Thus, for example, we were able to learn about the gratifying but difficult path of entrepreneurship of a postdoctoral researcher (Mariana Boadella, SaBiotech), the perseverance and patience necessary to advance in the development of the professional career after finishing the doctorate (Jose Francisco Ruiz, Researcher Ramón y Cajal of the UCLM) or on the opportunities that countries like the UK can offer to the research career (María Jiménez, president of the Association of Spanish Scientists in the United Kingdom, CERU).

In a program with a strong business presence, attendees had the opportunity to know the industry's R & D & I needs, as well as the type of professional profiles they are looking for. In this way, with the help of all, it was possible to discuss the professional skills that researchers already possess and are highly valued, and those that should be strengthened or developed.

To this end, workshops on communication, effective presentations, protection and exploitation of research results, entrepreneurship, and presence on social networks, among other topics, were organized during the afternoons.

Finally, throughout the meeting there was a provision of promotional stands of institutions such as the CSIC, the University itself, the EURAXESS Network or the CELERA Talent Accelerator Association, where attendees could advise on the professional opportunities available to them.

At the closing of the meeting, Julián Garde (Vice-Rector for Research at UCLM), José Ignacio Fernández Vera (Director General of FECYT), and Ángela González Moreno (Vice-rector of Transfer and Innovation of the UCLM) stressed the importance of the celebration of this type of conferences to inform about the opportunities in the research career and to promote the professional development of young researchers.

About EUESCADA

This meeting was the first of the five planned in 2017 under the EUESCADA Project (GA 741373), funded by Horizon 2020 and coordinated by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) under the auspices of Framework of the EURAXESS network.

The objectives of this conference are to offer as much information as possible to university students and researchers in Spain who are evaluating their professional options in Europe and to present the skills and the most valued capabilities of researchers in the labor market to increase their employability and improve their planning in the development of their professional career.

For more information about the EUSCADA project, consult the Euraxess Spain website

You can also contact us at Euraxess-spain@fecyt.es.