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Talentia fellowships for experienced postdoctoral researchers in all areas of knowledge and committed to innovation and sustainable development

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Talentia fellowships support postdoctoral researchers in Spain

Keeping talent in the EU on both national and regional levels is important for strengthening the economy. A region in Spain successfully achieved this by helping postdoctoral researchers find employment.

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In recent years, crisis-hit Spain has seen a brain drain as talented researchers left to find employment in other countries. The country’s southern region of Andalusia was also hit hard, prompting an EU-funded initiative to combat this trend. The project TALENTIA POSTDOC (Talentia fellowships for experienced postdoctoral researchers in all areas of knowledge and committed to innovation and sustainable development) worked on retaining talent in the region. To achieve this, it offered 16 two-year contracts to experienced researchers under an incoming and an outgoing mobility scheme. The project’s research led to significant improvements in the areas of innovation, technology transfer and entrepreneurship, as well as in the productivity and sustainable development of Europe. This was supported by the modernisation of its SMEs and traditional manufacturing industries, an issue of particular relevance in Andalusia, where the project was based. Once the call was launched in 2014, the programme received 247 applications from 28 countries around the world. An international evaluation committee of over 30 independent experts was set up. Fellows were selected after a process consisting of 3 to 4 experts individually reviewing each application plus video conference interviews for the 40 best candidates. All 16 fellowships were awarded in 2014, involving 4 incoming and 12 outgoing schemes. Fellows carried out their research projects in 22 different research institutions in 8 countries across Europe and the United States. Moreover, project research led to 117 publications and participation in 60 conferences, furthering the objective of strengthening Andalusian competitiveness in research. A notable result is that 10 out of the 16 researchers targeted in the project have secured research positions within the European Research Area (ERA). The fact that the researchers found permanent positions upon completing the fellowships indicates success in attracting and retaining researchers. The project serves as an excellent example of how countries and regions can nurture, encourage and retain research talent and expertise.

Keywords

Postdoctoral researchers, brain drain, Andalusia, TALENTIA POSTDOC, sustainable development

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