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Research Training Networks - Useful Information for Young Researchers

Research Training Networks

Useful Information for Young Researchers

The information provided here is intended to help those young researchers who are interested in joining a Research Training Network or are already members of one.


Vacancies in Research Training Networks are available for interested young researchers. However, it is important to check first whether you would be eligible to be appointed, since certain conditions must be satisfied.

Before taking up an Appointment

If you are offered a position in a Research Training Network, then it is advisable that you check whether there are any visa requirements or other administrative issues which need to be addressed BEFORE moving to your host institute, particularly if you are not a national of an EU Member State. Your potential host institute or National Contact Point or the Marie-Curie Fellowship Association (which Network Young Researchers may now join) might be able to help you in this regard. Information on the rights and obligations, including any taxation arrangements, of an EU citizen moving from one Member State to another is also available, as well as from the Researcher's Mobility Portal , Europe Direct , EURES and PLOTEUS .

Appointments in Research Training Networks are made in accordance with local conditions of the host institute and the recommendation is that at least the local pay and conditions at a particular institute should be used. That is, a young researcher should be paid at least as much as other colleagues with similar qualifications and experience at the same institute, with due consideration given to ensuring that salaries are competitive.

Usually your host institute will formalise your appointment via a contract and it is advisable that you take time to understand the terms of the contract that you are entering into. The employment contract usually belongs to one of two distinct groups:

  1. Stipend (or Fellowship) which is normally exempted from income taxes and (often) contributions to the social security. This may also mean that your host institute does not provide health insurance cover or pension contributions.

  2. Employment contracts where you will pay full taxes and social security contributions and benefit accordingly in the event of sickness etc. Health insurance cover and pension contributions may also be included.

In each case you should take care to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each type of employment contract, discussing it further with your intended host institute if desired, and decide which is most appropriate to your appointment.

Appointment Provisions

For Research Training Networks funded through the 5th Framework Human Potential Programme, the Research Training Network contract covers your salary or grant; any related social charges and pension costs; any registration or tuition fees specific to your appointment; relocation costs when taking up the appointment and travel costs (within Europe only) to your home scientific community per nine-monthly period. This is also the case for Research Training Networks funded through the 4th Framework Training and Mobility of Researchers Programme, except that it is not possible to pay relocation or travel costs.

As well as supporting the appointment of young researchers, the contract provides, amongst other things, travel and subsistence support for meetings with other participants in the project; for secondments between the participants and for attending international workshops, seminars and conferences. Prior approval from the Commission is required for participation at conferences outside Europe.

Starting your Appointment

Upon taking up an appointment, your supervisor should provide you with information about the Research Training Network you have joined. For example, the networks' webpage address, contact details of other young researchers in the same network and further details of the training to be provided both at your host institute and by the network as a whole. Information about the activity itself is also available.

Feedback to the Commission about your Appointment

One of the meetings that you might attend is the Mid-Term Review. During such a meeting, young researchers are asked to complete a questionnaire on their experiences in the network.
Download the questionnaire: PDF - Word

Young researchers appointed in Research Training Networks funded through the 5th Framework Human Potential Programme are also asked to complete a similar questionnaire at the end of their appointment.
Download the questionnaire: PDF - MS Word

Further information or queries may be requested from (email removed) (Subject: Research Training Networks).

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