Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Warsaw
Wednesday, 15 June 2005, 9:30 - 17:00

Report

A Workshop for Early Career Researchers was the first Polish outreach event and third in a series of events organised in collaboration with the Marie Curie Fellowship Organisation. We were also pleased to collaborate with the Centre for Law and Policy at the University of Leeds, UK who co-funded the event as part of the MOBEX2 project. More than 90 delegates attended the event which was kindly hosted by the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology. Attendees consisted of undergraduate students (18%), PhD Students (43%), postdoctoral researchers (32%) and the remaining delegates did not specify their background.


Programme

The workshop was opened by Seema Sharma and Professor Jerzy Duszynski, the Director of the Institute to welcome all the attendants and the collaborating organisations who had made the event possible.


(L-R) JESS GUTH, LOUISE ACKERS, ANIA KICINGER AND DAGMAR MEYER

The workshop combined the presentation of research findings from the MOBEX 2 project with a practical insight into European mobility and alternative careers away from academic research. Ania Kicinger presented findings of a study by the Central European Forum for Migration Research, Warsaw, on the effect of EU enlargement on migrant scientists travelling into, and conversely out of Poland - specifically to the UK and Germany. The case studies presented implied enlargement had not made a significant impact on those specific researchers questioned, apart from the convenience of not requiring a visa to travel.

Following on from this, Jess Guth reported the preliminary findings of another facet of the MOBEX2 project with an overview of what Polish nationals can expect when studying and working in the German higher education sector.

Session B addressed the gender imbalance and gave examples of fellowship opportunities for women in science. Professor Louise Ackers examined the relationship between gender, mobility and progression in science careers and highlighted results from studies her group had carried across Europe. Maria Stycznscka, recipient of the L'Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science fellowship in 2004, recounted her experiences as a fellow and a new mother. Further practical information about applying for the fellowships was offered by Maria Majotrowicz, L'Oreal Corporate Communication Manager for Poland.


MARIA STYCZNSCKA

The Session on European Mobility started with additional research findings from the MOBEX2 project presented by Bryony Gill. Her talk focused on the career opportunities mobility can bring to a researcher including skill acquisition and access to a wider labour market. It was also noted that the most popular destination for Polish Marie Curie Fellows during the fifth framework programme of the European Commission was the UK.

Lidia Mitera gave an overview of the polish network of mobility centres and the Researchers Mobility Portal website as helpful tools for polish scientists wishing to find a job vacancy or funding in their chosen work destination.


SEEMA SHARMA

Also in this session, Agata Stasiak presented the audience with practical details of how to apply for the European Commission's Marie-Curie Actions. The European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) Fellowship Manager, Jan Taplick, gave an overview of funding available for polish nationals to work in their host laboratories and stated that reasonably few applications were received from Poland.

The final session covered alternative career paths for scientists where Next Wave's European Editor, Anne Forde gave a practical insight into her career as an Editor and Next Wave's Seema Sharma spoke of her previous career transition working as a Technical Specialist.

Feedback

Thank you to all of those attendants who completed feedback forms. We were pleased to see 98% of all those who attended said they would recommend the workshop to others. Comments were also noted that stated there was a lack of practical application of sessions A and B. There were some requests for workshops in the future to cover the social sciences and humanities. We hope to be able to address all of these points in future events.


NEXT WAVE EUROPEAN EDITOR ANNE FORDE (LEFT) WITH WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS AT LUNCH

For general enquiries about the workshop, please e-mail ssharma@science-int.co.uk .