Europe's young aspiring researchers can benefit significantly from the various funding initiatives offered by the EU. One such recent initiative was the EU-funded project COFAS (FAS International Postdoc Programme), coordinated by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE). Following FORTE's vision to enhance career and work life of young researchers in Sweden and beyond, COFAS aimed specifically at furthering career development through international researcher mobility and collaboration. This led to the launch of the Forte Outgoing International Postdoc Fellowships, which offers researchers in Sweden the opportunity to spend up to two years in a research institution abroad. It also led to the Forte Incoming International Postdoc Fellowships aimed at facilitating exchange between Swedish and foreign researchers while offering the latter a chance to work for two years in a Swedish host institution. Six calls were launched under the project, attracting as many as 225 applications for funding. Against this backdrop, the project funded 32 fellows to further their careers, in an arrangement that also reflected good gender balance. The outcomes of the project's funding activities included the employment of one professor in an American university, as well as the uptake of 31 individuals worldwide in research positions. Overall, the fellows benefited from high-level supervision and training, enhanced commitment from their host institution and better networking opportunities. Following the great success of COFAS in supporting FORTE and promoting international postdoc programmes within Swedish research circles, the project has laid the groundwork for a follow-up project, COFAS 2. This can only bring more internationalisation and knowledge exchange to European research.
Postdoc, COFAS, fellowships, career development, researcher mobility