Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

REFLEX Report Summary

Project ID: 643510
Funded under: FP7-COH
Country: Slovakia

Final Report Summary - REFLEX (Responsive and Flexible: Living and learning researcher career development framework.)

Executive Summary:
REFLEX project joined the forces of partners from five European countries in developing responsive and flexible career development framework integrating existing tools into the context sensitive models of career development services and in this way complement the efforts made so far in support of the career development of researchers and make them more inclusive, accessible and effective. To achieve this goal, the project applies the bottom-up approach encouraging the stakeholders’ involvement and participation.

Project activities started with the input collection. The existing European level policies were mapped and examples of existing career support measures were collected in the project countries and beyond. Over 50 practices were compiled and analysed – interested reader can find them in the good practice collection published at the project website. To gain the stakeholders input participative scenario workshop was organised in each project country. More than two hundred stakeholders, among them researchers at all career stages, their employers, HR professionals, policy makers and research funders, contributed with their views on what are the main blockers and boosters for the researchers’ careers.

Input collected by both mapping exercise and scenario workshop fed into the development of the flexible career development framework and training scheme. REFLEX scheme is a model which researchers, research institutions, PI’s and career advisors can use to assist researchers in planning their career development. The scheme illustrates a multitude and mix of services available regarding career development, focusing on tools, activities, and workshops. Altogether 43 different measures are categorised in five topical groups: Mobility, Networking, Career Advice, Academic Skills & Development and Company & Organisational Interaction. Research institutions may add or remove services, to develop a context specific model reflecting their conditions and available resources.

The next stage of the project focused on feedback collection and the pilot testing of the developed methodology through its application in different national contexts. Pilot training workshops were organised in all project countries involving more than 140 local stakeholders in the interactive activities providing them the hands-on experience with Scheme and possibility to reflect on its implementation in their local context. European level workshop was organised to reach the stakeholders with access to international networks and possibility to spread the information about the project outcomes towards other institution at both national and international level. Event, included in the official programme of Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union, hosted more than 80 participants from 14 European countries. The feedback received from the participants in both national pilot trainings and European level workshop indicates that the scheme is perceived as a very practical, simple but on the same time comprehensive tool.

Recommendations on how to work with scheme and how to adapt it to different contexts were summarised in the series of implementation guides available at the project website. EURAXESS implementation guide was also prepared to help EURAXESS centres take over the role of facilitators in the development of local and institutional career development strategies. To make the scheme easily accessible for everyone, the REFLEX on-line application was developed. The application is especially meant for the research institutions that decided to adopt more systematic and strategic approach to career development of researchers and look for the tool that will help them to better organise this process. Lessons learnt during the workshops, events and field studies undertaken within the project are summarised in the Reader and Fieldguide which can also be recommended as a starting point for exploring all resources generated within the REFLEX project.

Project Context and Objectives:
Systematic and focused career management is becoming increasingly important for both researchers and their employers. It should enable the research institutions to fully use the potential of their human resources and researchers to identify and grasp the number of different opportunities that labour market offers for their careers. Research organisations face the challenge of how to guide researchers through this process and what they can do in order to enable individual careers and train researchers to become creative, critical and autonomous intellectual risk takers. Offering both researchers and their employers tools and assistance in the set-up of career management process is therefore a critical task. And EURAXESS network should overtake an important role in this in the near future and alongside its original mission it should become the reference point in career development for mobile and non-mobile researchers alike. Some network members will be expected to take over also the role of career development centres with the ability to provide personalised services. In the process of this transformation specific tools and activities will need to be introduced to help researchers navigate through their careers.

Currently variety of such tools is available, some of them formal and structured, other based on informal and self-directed approach. But if these tools should be implemented within the network such diverse as EURAXESS several challenges arise: These tools are usually designed for the use in certain research environments and might be not easily transferrable to other contexts. They are mostly based on the presumption of linear organisational careers and do not reflect the increasing mutability of career patterns with their interruptions and parallel directions adequately. They may be not sufficiently reflexive towards the opportunities arising with the creation of brand new, currently non-existing jobs in the near future.

REFLEX project aimed to address these challenges through the designing of responsive, flexible, living and learning career development framework based on the direct involvement of researchers and HR departments, EURAXESS Service Centres and other relevant actors as facilitators of the career planning process formulation (Specific objective 1). Created framework should integrate existing tools into the context sensitive models of career development services and this way complement the efforts made so far in support of the career development of researchers (Specific objective 2). Practical testing and implementation of the framework carried out within the project should enable to disseminate these tools towards the researchers and other stakeholders (Specific objective 3).

The process of designing the Framework should start with identification of factors influencing researchers’ career pathways. The pool of different career development tools and practices should be collected and analysed with regard to their applicability in different national contexts. Scenario workshops with researchers and other local stakeholders should be organised in every project country to learn about the country specific situation. A set of modules should be defined describing the particular practices, procedures and skills, which will be combined into the common framework and its country specific mutations. Training model scheme focusing on the development of career management skills for researchers should be designed, adapted to different national contexts and pilot tested. Mutual learning and feedback activities should be carried out to ensure the coherence and continuous improvement of all project outcomes. In order to increase the transferability of the framework to other national and institutional contexts, European level workshop with participants from other EURAXESS networks and organisations representing the researchers and their employers should be organised before the end of the project.

Project Results:
Main outcomes and results

This summary introduces the main results and outcomes of the project as they were achieved in its three stages:

(1) Input collection through mapping of existing policies and institutional practices and through organisation of a series of participative scenario workshops in all project countries
(2) Design of the REFLEX scheme and framework and pilot testing of the methodology through the pilot training workshops in all project countries
(3) Establishing the conditions for the dissemination of the developed methodology through the preparation of a series of implementation guides and organisation of a European-level workshop.

1. Input collection: participative approach as the central principle of the project

The input collection consisted of two complementary activities: (1) background mapping of existing policies and institutional good practice based on the desktop research and complementary surveys and (2) identifying the perspectives of the widest possible groups of researchers and other stakeholders through the organisation of participative scenario workshops.

The first partial outcome of the mapping exercise is the summary of the ERA level policies on human resources in research, mobility and career development of researchers. The document shows how the career development becomes an increasingly important topic in these policies and how it gradually develops from career development in research to career development of researchers. The document was used as a background paper for the scenario workshops and helped to anchor the discussion in the broader ERA framework. The second outcome is the collection of good practices including over 50 examples of good practice from all project countries. The process of the good practice collection itself provided the valuable information about the state of the art in the field of researchers’ career development. While in countries like Denmark, Norway and Switzerland, a majority of good practices has an institutional character (regular services provided by the particular institution); nation-wide funding schemes and time-constrained project-based activities are more represented among the good practice in Slovakia and Hungary. Good practices in Denmark, Switzerland and Norway also include the examples of mentoring and coaching programmes (in many cases related to female researchers) while such activities are missing in case of Slovakia and Hungary. Both policies overview and good practice collection are included in the deliverable 2.1 Final framework and module list (published as “Main Elements of the Career Development Framework: Background report” on the project website). Good practices can also be found in the REFLEX good practice collection published at the project website using the REFLEX online application interface.

Mapping of the existing practices was an important first step, but the REFLEX project had the ambition to address also those challenges that are being overlooked or marginalised by the existing tools and approaches. For this purpose, the input from a variety of stakeholders should be collected. A scenario workshop, a well-established participative method, was used to enable different actors to contribute with their view on what are the main boosters and blockers of the career development of researchers. One national-level scenario workshop was organised in each project country. Since the composition of participants and the identification of the stakeholders was a key to the success of the workshop, specific attention was paid to the recruitment process. Each project partner was responsible for the compilation of the national stakeholders’ list in their country. The database of almost 200 hundred national and 30 European-level stakeholders was created. As in the case of good practice collection, the stakeholders’ database also indicated some differences in the national research systems. The high share of stakeholders were representatives of national-level organisations in Slovakia and Hungary. Local-level stakeholders were prevailing in other three countries

The pilot workshop took place in August 2015 in Norway. The national workshops in Slovakia, Denmark, Hungary and Switzerland followed shortly after the pilot session in Trondheim. Altogether more than two hundred stakeholders, among them researchers at all career stages, their employers, HR professionals, policy makers and research funders, participated in this activity. The participants of the scenario workshops were first asked to think about the blockers of career development in research and then to propose measures that would help to eliminate these blockers and boost the professional growth of researchers. Many of the blockers and boosters identified during the workshops were similar in all project countries. But how they were perceived, what was their background and what approaches could be taken to address them, differed from country to country. Some of the main conclusions of the workshops are summarised in the following text:

• The blockers identified by participants addressed all levels of researchers’ environment: from a broader systematic (e. g. legislation and funding), through the institutional (e. g. availability of certain services or training) to the individual one (e. g. motivation and readiness to grasp the opportunities). The presence of systematic level barriers was strongly perceived in Slovakia and Hungary. While these barriers were also briefly mentioned in Switzerland, they did not play almost any role in Norway and Denmark.

• Universities and other researchers’ employers were perceived as the main actors in the promotion of researchers’ career development. But the role of other institutions having the impact on researchers’ careers was also discussed. The involvement of labour unions was discussed in Denmark. In Slovakia, the role and possibilities of funding agencies to promote career development of researchers were discussed intensely.

• Among the individual level factors, the lack of motivation to grasp the existing opportunities and the self-limitation were identified as some of the factors hindering the researchers’ career growth. However, these individual motivations can be influenced by cultural contexts. E. g. in Switzerland, researchers face the strong fear of failure which decreases their willingness to take the risk and thus affects their career decisions.

• Career development of researchers at all career levels was discussed during the workshops. But while e. g. in Slovakia the focus was mainly on the PhD students, as a majority of participants, including both young and more experienced researchers considered a lack of systematic career development for this group to be the most burning issue, in other countries this group does not face the lack of career support services and was therefore not so widely discussed. Lack of the career support for “postdocs” seems to be important in all countries. But the perception of problems this group faces is different: E. g. in Slovakia the missing definition of the “postdoc” status (it does not exist in the way it does in the Western European countries) and lack of postdoc positions has been mentioned as an issue that needs to be tackled. On the other hand, in Switzerland, too many postdoc positions were identified as a problem in the system. The lack of leadership development opportunities was discussed as one of the key issues related to the R3-R4 level researchers. The overlooking of international researchers in the discussion about the career development of researchers was also mentioned, especially during the Danish workshop.

• Awareness of gender equality aspects was relatively high among the workshop participants in all countries. Support of women researchers was discussed in all workshops to some extent. Reconciliation of working and private life was also debated several times and was no longer perceived to be a women´s issue only. Men also raised this question and it was discussed as a topic concerning any researcher, male or female. But while Scandinavian countries and Switzerland could also refer to the concrete services promoting gender equality, this was rarely possible in Hungary and Slovakia where institutions do not pay attention to this issue.

• There is a variety of career development tools and services available according to the participants of workshops in Scandinavian countries and Switzerland. One of the outcome report states that there are more tools available than ever before. But they remain fragmented, not enough visible and poorly communicated. The main challenge is therefore how to integrate them and make them more accessible to researchers. On the other hand, Slovakia and Hungary still face a lack of career support services and resources that they would need to develop these services.

• Persisting lack of information on various aspects of career development was mentioned. The issue was, however, not always that this information does not exist. On the contrary, there is too much available (“Ocean of information”). Processing this information and selecting only the relevant is becoming the challenge on its own.

• Mobility remains a key issue in all participating countries. Except for Denmark, a low willingness of “domestic” researchers to be mobile was perceived as a problem in all countries. But while in Norway and Switzerland this was mostly caused by the hesitance of domestic researchers to leave very good conditions they have at home, in Hungary and Slovakia it was linked to the factors such as lack of support and low awareness of mobility importance among the senior researchers and supervisors who themselves often lack the mobility experience. The “brain drain” issue was also discussed. Those who leave often do not want to come back. And if they decide to return, there is hardly any reintegration support for them.

• The crucial role of supervisors was addressed during all workshops. Supervisors have a decisive impact on the future career of their PhD students and therefore should be able to provide effective career advice and leadership. But many times they are not. It is, therefore, necessary to think about how to provide researchers with an effective support helping them to fulfil this challenging role.

• The missing ability of both institutions and researchers to grasp and develop the existing opportunities for networking was mentioned. Especially the importance of networking between academia and private sector was unsurprisingly a central topic of many discussions during the workshops in all countries. Contrary to this broadly shared view, the overemphasising of the networking was also mentioned in one of the discussions in Switzerland.

• The lack of visibility of researchers for the commercial sector on one side and the hesitance of researchers to leave the academic sector on another were mentioned as some of the barriers to the inter-sectoral mobility. Switching from academia to industry or vice versa is perceived as a decision which is difficult to undo. Another issue discussed in relation to the inter-sectoral mobility was a narrow understanding of inter-sectoral mobility as a mobility between academia and business. Institutions such as public and cultural sector institutions, charities and many others that could benefit from the collaborations with researchers are often left out from the considerations about the inter-sectoral collaborations.

• The need to strengthen the role of interdisciplinary collaboration was mentioned in Slovakia and Hungary. These forms of collaboration remain very limited for different reasons. Concrete suggestions how to improve these collaborations were presented by the workshop participants (cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary supervision or interdisciplinary workshops).

At the end of this part, it also needs to be mentioned that with regard to the bottom-up approach towards the project activities, the process of the input collection itself was just as important as was its final outcome. Participatory scenario workshops were carried out to ensure the inclusion of the widest possible spectrum of stakeholders and perspectives into the process of REFLEX tools creation. But at the same time, they also helped to encourage the discussion and to raise awareness about the researchers’ career development in all project countries. The participation of project partners in the mutual learning activities was planned and carried out with an aim to ensure the flexibility and transferability of the project outcomes to different contexts. But it also enabled the project partners to develop their expertise on career development of researchers and become the multipliers of the accumulated expertise within their institution and both national and international EURAXESS network.

2. Methodology design and pilot testing

The input collected by both the mapping exercise and the scenario workshops fed into the development of the flexible career development framework and the general training scheme (as they both have the same structure, we will simply further refer to them as to the “REFLEX scheme”). The REFLEX scheme was developed as a model which researchers, research institutions, PI’s and career advisors can use to (1) assist researchers in planning their career development and (2) develop the institutional strategies for researchers’ career development. The scheme consists of five main areas: Mobility, Networking, Career Advice, Academic Skills & Development and Company & Organisational Interaction. Each category includes the set of possible activities and measures that can contribute to the professional development of researchers in the particular area. The scheme illustrates a multitude and mix of services available regarding career development, focusing on tools, activities, and workshops. Altogether 43 different measures are included in the scheme, each of them complemented by the brief description. Following text offers the basic overview of the scheme elements, the descriptions are available at the project webpage (see the document “Descriptions”):

• Mobility: this category includes activities and measures supporting the researchers’ ability to move freely and easily. Only geographical mobility is covered under this category. Other forms of mobility are addressed in other sections of the scheme. The measures in this category include dual career advice, advice with legal and administrative issues, cultural courses, language courses, mobility coaching and social events.

• Networking: this category includes activities and measures encouraging the interaction with others to exchange information, provide support and develop professional and/or social contacts. The measures in this category include interdisciplinary collaboration, mentoring, alumni association, networking with former colleagues and conferences.

• Career Advice: this category includes activities and measures helping and encouraging researchers to create opportunities for progress in their current and future work, incl. tools for career clarification. The measures in this category include external career support, career coordinator, performance and development review (PDR), career centre, career planning tool, career coach, job search workshop, introduction to early career dialogue, overview to career development, facts and statistics, gender/equality advisor and funding & grants.

• Academic Skills & Development: this category includes activities and measures helping researchers to master and develop abilities in order to continue a successful academic researcher career. The measures in this category include: supervisor development, project planning & management, information on academic publishing, academic writing, leadership course, teaching course, teaching competency profile, external teaching (open university), branding of academic skills, overview on researcher career paths or options.

• Company & Organisational Interaction: this category includes activities and measures helping researchers to establish the career in a company, in industry, or create their own business. The measures in this category include company visit, technology transfer, employment panel, company/job fair & matchmaking, internship (industry + academia), workshop on how to be attractive for the labour market, workshop on how to become an entrepreneur, business understanding.

The full REFLEX scheme as described above represents the ideal case but the users may adapt it according to their needs and develop a context-specific model reflecting their conditions and available resources.

The scheme can be used by different target groups, the main ones being the (1) Institutions employing researchers or assisting them that wish to develop a more systematic and strategic approach to the career development of researchers, (2) researchers who want to take a more active approach to their careers and need a comprehensive but simple framework to identify the key areas of their professional development and (3) supervisors and/or career advisors and other professionals assisting career development of researchers who search for the tool helping them to structure the advice and support they provide. Private companies or other career service providers can also find it useful as it helps them better understand what skills and competencies researchers have and how they could be applied in other contexts and environments.

To pilot test how the scheme described above can be used in the practice and how it can be adapted to different national contexts, pilot training workshops were organised in all project countries. The core of these workshops were the interactive activities providing the participants with a hands-on experience with the scheme and a possibility to reflect on its implementation in their local or institutional context. More than 140 local stakeholders, among them mostly researchers, representatives of researchers’ employers and HR professionals participated in this exercise and provided their feedback on the scheme and its usability. The following text summarises some of the conclusions and lessons learnt from these workshops:

• The scheme provides the common language for the discussion about the career development, which helps to keep the debate more structured and solution-oriented. The list of the measures included in the scheme is well composed and quite exhaustive. Although the participants were encouraged to suggest additional measures and activities, only a few came up with some suggestions. But even in such case the newly suggested activities were usually already covered in the detailed description of some of the activities included in the scheme.

• The tool helps to explore already existing services: many measures that are highly relevant for researchers’ careers are provided by the institutions. However, since they are not labelled as “career development services” they are not considered to be ones. The broader understanding of career development represented by the REFLEX scheme helped the participants to think about the already existing services and about how they could be incorporated into the career development strategy.

• Implementation level matters: Testing the scheme on both mixed and single-institution groups during some of the workshops enabled us to identify how the scheme could be used on different levels of implementation. While the scheme mostly offers the guideline for the more general, awareness-raising debate in the groups consisting of the representatives of different institutions, it encourages very specific and strategically oriented discussion in the single institution group.

• Adaptability to different national and local contexts worked well. Participants in all countries considered the scheme to be relevant as it enabled them to make the adaptations reflecting the national and local conditions and resources available. None of the pilot workshops produced feedback indicating that scheme is not implementable in the given context.

• Interactive exercise used to pilot test the scheme was regarded as a very effective tool that not only enabled a structured discussion about the career development but also created the space for the networking among the participants that could lead to establishing the collaborations necessary for introducing the career development services. Visual aids used to present the scheme (cards, posters) proved to be useful aids in facilitating the discussions.

• Generally, the feedback received from the participants in national pilot training workshops clearly indicates that the scheme is perceived as a very practical, simple and at the same time a comprehensive tool that will find its use as a guideline helping researchers, their supervisors and career advisors, to identify the key areas they need to focus on when discussing and planning the career development of researchers. At the same time, it can be used as a framework, research institutions can apply when developing career support services for researchers.

The case studies summarising the lessons learnt from the national pilot workshops are included in the “EURAXESS training model scheme implementation guide” available at the project website.

3. Establishing the conditions for the dissemination of developed methodology.

The last stage of the project focused on the development of tools that would enable the use of the developed methodology by any interested researchers, institution or career advice provider. Recommendations on how to work with the scheme and how to adapt it to different contexts were summarised in the series of implementation guides.

• Training model scheme implementation guide provides the brief overall description of the scheme and offers a detailed explanation of its elements. The guide explains the concept and rationale of the scheme to its users and suggests how it should be used and by whom.

• EURAXESS implementation guide extends the above-mentioned information with the case studies from the national pilot workshops demonstrating what aspects to be aware of when implementing the scheme in the specific contexts and how to use in different ways to deal with them. The reason to include these case studies in the Implementation guide for the EURAXESS network was that the EURAXESS partners could take over the role of facilitators in the development of local and institutional strategies on supporting the researchers’ career development.

• Reader and Field Guide does not focus on the scheme specifically. Instead, it summarises the lessons learnt through the workshops, events and field studies undertaken within the project, focusing not only on the content created within the project but particularly on the processes that led to its creation. The guide was prepared in two forms: as a pdf document and as a video guide and can be recommended as a starting point for exploring all resources generated within the REFLEX project.

While the above-mentioned guides provide the information for the use of the scheme in the personal contact or in the events similar to the pilot training workshops described earlier, the REFLEX online application was created to make the scheme easily accessible for everyone. The application is based on the approach tested during the pilot training workshops and can be used by different types of users, especially by:

• Institutions that decide to introduce a more systematic and sustainable approach to the professional development of their researchers and for this purpose they need to analyse the state of the art of existing activities and introduce a strategic plan of how to extend or further develop these activities and how to promote them to the researchers. The REFLEX Application helps to facilitate this process by providing the platform for (1) Collaborative mapping of existing services: The editable version of the scheme can be shared with other collaborators who can contribute with the information about the activities carried out across the institution, (2) Development of a tailor-made institutional CD strategy: The tool enables the adaptation of the scheme to the specific needs of the particular research institution. Predefined sub-modules can be updated, reorganised or removed and new sub-modules can be added if necessary, and for (3) Increasing the visibility of existing services through the single presentation platform. The preview version of collected information can be shared with researchers and other external users.

• Researchers and professionals assisting them. The general scheme will help researchers to identify key areas of their career development. Researchers can also use the tool to develop their personal scheme where they can add their own notes and comments and update it anytime. At the same time, institutional schemes provide researchers with a better access to the existing services. Instead of browsing through the websites of different departments, researchers can approach all services through the single interface.

The tool is intuitive and easy to use but to ensure that all users know how to work with it, the PDF manual and a video guide were compiled showing how to work with the tool.

Besides developing the resources to be disseminated, creating the effective channels through which they can be disseminated is also crucial. For this purpose, the REFLEX project once again relied on the collaboration with stakeholders. The European level workshop was organised in Bratislava on November 9, 2016, to reach the stakeholders with the access to international networks and the possibility to spread the information about the project outcomes towards other institution at both national and international level. The event, included in the official programme of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of European Union, hosted more than 80 participants from 14 European countries. Representatives of several EU-level networks and institutions were represented, including Academic Cooperation Association, European Commission, European Universities Association, European Council of Doctoral Candidates, EuroScience, Marie Curie Alumni Association, Science Europe and Young European Associated Researchers Network (YEAR). Representatives of other projects dealing with the researchers’ career development support within the EURAXESS network (PIPERS, EURAXIND, TOP III) and other members of the EURAXESS network also took part in the workshop. The feedback received during the workshop was very encouraging. The researchers and the institutions present gave a lot of positive feedback on the relevance of the topic. The REFLEX scheme was received with curiosity and enthusiasm and many of the participants were eager to start using the tools suggested by REFLEX right away.

Potential Impact:
The impact of the REFLEX project can be derived from two main sources: the methodology and the tools that were created within the project and the processes that were used to develop them.

Twelve participative events (5 scenario workshops, 6 pilot training workshops and 1 European level workshop) with more than four hundred local and European level participants were organised in five European countries to gain the input and feedback from the widest possible spectrum of stakeholders. These participative activities:

• Contributed to a better access to career advice services for a wide groups of researchers, especially through actively encouraging the involvement of researchers regardless of their career stage, background or career pathway and facilitating the open exchange between the researchers and representatives of employers and thus making the employers more sensitive towards the needs of different groups of researchers.

• Enabled wider inclusion of research institutions in the practical implementation of the EU policy regarding researchers’ career and mobility especially through directly involving them in a design of the tools that will help them to develop their institutional career development strategies and by enabling them to contribute to the EU wide debate through their participation in the European level workshop.

• Raised the awareness about the multiple career opportunities for researchers by actively encouraging the debate about the career development of researchers across all sectors and highlighting the importance of preparing the researchers for alternative career paths.

To ensure that variety of perspectives voiced and concerns and challenges discussed during these events will be reflected in the career development process we developed the set of tools based on the flexible and responsive career development scheme. The tools developed:

• Will contribute to increasing the relevance of provided career advice and related training for the careers in the industry by highlighting the expectations of employers from industry and other non-academic sectors and by actively encouraging the academic institutions to address these expectations in the process of the researchers training from the very beginning.

• Will ensure better availability of training enabling researchers to improve their own career management skills by providing them with a comprehensive but simple framework they can use to identify the key areas of their professional development and by offering them the on-line tool enabling access this information easily.

• Will helps to increase the effectiveness of new and existing career advice services by providing the flexible and cost-effective methodology that enables the research institutions to develop more systematic and strategic approach to the career development respecting their local context and available resources.

While the tools developed in the project are available to all interested institutions, career advisors and individual researchers alike, the project also targeted one specific group: EURAXESS service centres. For this purpose, some of the outcomes were extended by the specific recommendations for the EURAXESS network and activities for mainstreaming the project results to other EURAXESS activities were carried out. This way the project:

• Contributes to broader and better services provided by the EURAXESS Services Network to both mobile and non-mobile researchers and fosters professional development of EURAXESS staff on the issues of career advice by providing the tools that could help them to introduce the CD services and/or where they do not have enough resources to provide the services on their own to become the facilitators in developing the local strategies and institutional strategies of career development based on the collaboration of local stakeholders.

Project dissemination

In order to enable the strengthening of the project impact and sustainability of project activities after the project end, effective dissemination strategy is necessary. A variety of channels was therefore used to promote the project and disseminate its results:

Online tools:
• Project website created with the aim to promote the project and provide the space for the dissemination of project results towards public was further updated throughout the duration of the project. The website is available at www.euraxess-reflex.eu and will be maintained also after the project end to ensure the accessibility of the project outcomes.

• Social networks were used to promote the events carried out within the REFLEX project. The Facebook and Twitter profiles of EURAXESS Slovakia and SAIA, n. o. were used for this purpose. (see: https://www.facebook.com/euraxess.sk and https://twitter.com/hashtag/CC4R?src=hash).

• In order to increase the visibility of the project among the policy makers and other EU level actors, the European level workshop was also included in the programme of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union. See: http://www.eu2016.sk/en/political-and-expert-meetings/international-workshop-career-scientist-euraxess). Information about the workshop was also published by external organisations. See e. g: ACCA website https://goo.gl/, Scientific Kaleidoscope https://goo.gl/WFHksL , newsletters of Science Europe https://goo.gl/RDOqas and OEAD https://goo.gl/TEod5r)

Promotional materials:
• Project flyer was prepared for the dissemination purposes. The flyer introduces the main goals and activities of the project. The primary target group of the flyer is the EURAXESS network. The flyer was distributed during national and international events. A conference booklet, introducing the events agenda and the speakers, was designed for the European level workshop organised in Bratislava.

Events:
• An important dissemination channel were the project events themselves. Pilot training workshops organised within the WP3 involved external stakeholders in the participative activities enabling them to gain a hands-on experience with the tools developed within the project and explore the possibilities how they can use them in their work. European level workshop helped to promote the project and its outcomes among the stakeholders with access to the Europe-wide networks and possibility to disseminate the information towards their member organisations. A separate promotional event was organised for the human resources staff at a Hungarian research institution.

• The project outcomes were also promoted during external events (such as e.g. different events of European and national networks). Two ways of project outcomes dissemination were used: presentation providing the overview of the project outcomes and activities and interactive exercises using the cards developed within the project. Such exercise was included e. g. in the programme of the Nordic Staff Mobility Conference – annual gathering of human resources professionals from the Nordic Universities that took place in Tampere or national EURAXESS meeting in some of the project countries.

Dissemination towards the EURAXESS network:

• Dissemination towards the whole network: The progress of the project was regularly presented at EURAXESS BHO meetings taking place in Brussels twice a year. SAIA as a Coordinator of REFLEX and the British Council as a Coordinator of PIPERS co-organised the workshop for the EURAXESS staff at the Biannual EURAXESS conference in Heraklion, Greece in May 2015, where REFLEX project was also presented. EURAXESS Extranet application was used to promote REFLEX project activities and events towards the EURAXESS members. The information was placed on the Extranet “wall” and distributed to all EURAXESS members by e-mail.

• Dissemination towards other projects: REFLEX is together with three other projects (PIPERS, TOP III and EURAXIND) part of the broader endeavours to prepare the EURAXESS network for the role of the reference point in the career development for mobile and non-mobile researchers alike. A joint project meeting was organised in Thessaloniki, Greece in September 2016. Participants of the meeting introduced the outcomes of all above-mentioned projects and discussed together how they can be further developed and exploited within the work of the EURAXESS network. Outcomes of the project were also informally presented during the meetings of the TOP III project and ways how they can be incorporated into the toolkit for future EURAXESS career development centres were presented. The representative of the REFLEX project participated in the final PIPERS meeting held in Sofia, Bulgaria and representatives of PIPERS, TOP III and EURAXIND projects took part in the European level workshop in Bratislava

List of Websites:
Web: www.euraxess-reflex.eu
E-mail: euraxess@saia.sk

Contact

Katarina Kostalova, (Executive Director)
Tel.: +421259304700
E-mail
Record Number: 197193 / Last updated on: 2017-04-10