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Montenegrin Researchers' Mobility Network

Final Report Summary - EURAXESS MONTENEGRO (Montenegrin researchers' mobility network)

Executive summary:

EURAXESS MONTENEGRO is a project financially supported by the European Commission (EC) within the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), and it was carried out in period of 36 months (2010-2013) with the main aim to establish national EURAXESS infrastructure in Montenegro and to become part of the European EURAXESS network.

The University of Montenegro was designated by the Ministry of Education and Science as the most appropriate institution in Montenegro for the establishment and development of the EURAXESS network. The advantages of the University for this sake are: experience of the international relations office in mobility issues, capacity and facilities for the establishment of new administrative services, it is the only public University and employer of 55 % of PhD and MSc / MA in Montenegro, experience with European Union (EU) education and research programmes, direct beneficiary of the largest part of incoming mobility.

The main goals of the project are to:

- structure the existing national capacities for mobility by forming the national researchers network;
- develop quality service of informing and providing proximity assistance to mobile researchers;
- provide training facilities to officials and administrators dealing with mobility;
- promote services offered within the Montenegrin society and wider;
- enable integration with the existing EURAXESS network.

Given the size of the country, it is decided that one Bridgehead organisation (BHO) - University of Montenegro - that will at the same time function as EURAXESS service centre, will be sufficient to run the national researchers mobility network and offer information and proximity assistance for researchers in the whole country. All three Universities in Montenegro (one public and two private) have signed the Declaration of Commitment and joined the network, and until the end of the project all of them became signatories of the European charter for researchers and the code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers. At the beginning of the project, the steering group was established. After three one-day workshops held at universities, established was the Executive group for mobility / Local contact point (LCP)s which are geographically spread throughout Montenegro. For the LCPs three two-day workshops were organised in order to deliver the best possible service to mobile researchers.

The main information tool of the EURAXESS service centre in Montenegro is the national EURAXESS portal. The national portal is focused to the needs of incoming and outgoing researchers and feature the Help desk service, practical information, research job opportunities, information about grants and fellowships, news in the domain of researchers mobility in Montenegro, links to the main research stakeholders in the country, list of contact points at the faculties and institutes, pdf versions of guides for researchers, both incoming and outgoing. The national EURAXESS portal is developed in line with the European EURAXESS portal, according to the guidelines established by the EC.

A series of various dissemination activities were performed since the beginning of the project realisation: info days, dissemination workshops, workshop aimed to enterprise sector, international and regional workshops, conference on charter and code. During the realisation of EURAXESS MONTENEGRO project, we have developed promotional and dissemination materials: newsletters, poster, leaflet for the promotion of the national portal, book markers, notebooks, folders, instructions for jobs publishing at the EURAXESS Jobs portal. Printed and television (TV) media showed significant interest for most of the events organised during the project lifetime, through printed articles and announcements, TV shows, interviews.

project context and objectives:

The European Research Area (ERA) is positioning the mobility of researchers and circulation of knowledge at its core, in order to ensure abundant and sufficient human resources for research in Europe. Many initiatives at regional and European levels have been undertaken in order to stimulate the movement of researchers, their shorter or longer stays within grant or fellowship schemes and numerous coordination actions, EURAXESS being the most important.

Montenegro, as a small country, with limited number of researchers in absolute terms around 1 500 (although high as a % of employed 8.8) needs to optimise the benefits of its association to the FP7 and other international research cooperation opportunities if it is to achieve the level of technological development that is required for a modern, more specialised and competitive economy, and economy that fulfils the EU standards. On the other hand, Montenegro needs to keep developing a wide spectrum of tertiary education opportunities in order to ensure the development of its human capital. In this view, Montenegro also should optimise the benefits resulting from mobility of its students and researchers.

The policy of Montenegrin Ministry of Education and Science traditionally has been focused on providing good conditions for the development of human resources in research sector, which in most cases required support for their international mobility, since much of the career development and specialisation could not be provided nationally. The University of Montenegro, with its own programmes of support to human resources has also stimulated mobility of its professors. During the 90s, when our country was isolated from the international community, the mobility was slowed down and, instead, we had the problem of intense brain drain. On the other side, incoming mobility has never been enough developed.

As far as inter sectoral mobility is concerned, the typical from of mobility has been in joint applied research projects between University staff and enterprises, particularly in the period prior to 90s when there were strong industries. During the 90s, apart from the brain-drain, we had a partial outflow of young researchers from science to enterprises, in search of better paid jobs and working conditions. In the past several years, smaller, recently established enterprises are just starting to engage academic researchers as short-term consultants. Only in Information and communications technology (ICT) sector this exchange and joint projects have continued. Nonetheless, more structural forms of inter-sectoral mobility, such as training of young researchers in industry, mutual secondments etc. have never existed, or only sporadically.

Today, both the ministry and the university, apart from persisting with certain forms of support for human resources development (scholarships, participation for tuition fees, specialisations), are fostering the redirection of mobility towards the Community programmes that Montenegro participates in (FP7 associated country since 2008, TEMPUS since 2000, Erasmus Mundus since 2007, Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window since 2008), some important regional initiatives, such as CEEPUS (member since 2005) and bilateral cooperation. Involvement in these programmes is particularly important for the structuring effect it has on the national research and higher education systems and their integration to the ERA and EHEA.

The data on mobility however are not taken account of at the national level. Certain statistics exist in various institutions, but it is not collected in a standardised way. Separate data on different programmes (e.g. CEEPUS, TEMPUS, FP7) show that there is increased mobility in the past 5 years and that it has a growing trend, although many opportunities remain under absorbed.

Main objectives

Main objective of the project is to establish operational national infrastructure for providing support to incoming, outgoing and inter-sectoral mobility of researchers:

- to establish sustainable organisational structure of Montenegrin researchers' mobility network (BHO, ESC and LCPs) including high-level support and consultative body for project activities (project steering group) and to adopt necessary decisions and documents for their functioning;
- to establish EURAXESS service centre and the network of contact persons at research institutions (Executive group for mobility), as well as establishing of LCPs on the basis of completed procedures of signing the DoC by certain universities, and to adopt necessary decisions in this regard;
- to establish the network of contact persons in relevant government bodies for preparing current national legislation related to employment, social security, taxation, pension rights, visa requirements and recognition of diplomas, as well as to prepare harmonisation of this legislation in Montenegro with the recommendations of the charter and code and scientific visa package;
- to create guide for incoming researchers, as well as guide for outgoing researchers;
- to enable efficient assistance to researchers coming to Montenegro, as well as to local researchers searching for information about opportunities in European Union, by training the contact persons at the universities in line with defined structure and quality levels;
- to develop portal single point of access for online provision of information and services and online interaction of all stakeholders involved in development of national researchers mobility infrastructure, as well as its beneficiaries;
- to establish close cooperation with the regional Euraxess network members;
- to achieve full visibility of information and services of Montenegrin Researchers' Mobility Network delivered to target groups and to promote its activities at research institutions as well as in the companies.

Project results:

Main results and foregrounds

The activities on the implementation of the EURAXESS Montenegro project were carried out through a set of WPs:
- WP1: Project management
- WP2: Development of the national mobility network
- WP3: Information and assistance for researchers
- WP4: Training
- WP5: Development of national mobility portal
- WP6: Dissemination

More detailed presentation of the performed activities is described within the following sections.

WP1: Project management

Objectives of this WP were to: ensure effective coordination and collaboration within the project, ensure the fulfilment of project activities and grant agreement in line with EC rules, ensure timely execution and quality of project results, ensure the decision making in participative and transparent manner, in consultation with the steering group and executive group.

Since Montenegro has not benefited from the complementary projects, such as WEB-MOB, achieving this objective was of a particular importance to Montenegro, and at the same time, may prove to be a big challenge, since it required intensive and well planned activities. In order to achieve this, it was necessary to establish and develop connections with countries from the region, as well as with countries that have already developed national mobility centres and have significant experience in implementation of EURAXESS initiative.

Taking into account the size of the country it was decided that one BHO will be sufficient to coordinate the national researchers mobility network as well as one EURAXESS Service Center, both located at the University of Montenegro. The University of Montenegro was appointed as BHO by the Minister for Education and Science of Montenegro in line with the decision No. 05-1/12-456 at April 20, 2009.

Coordination and managing of network is carried out in accordance with the documents: Operations protocol of the BHO (D2.1 adopted by the Rector of the University of Montenegro on 28 April 2010) and â?œRulebook for operations of the national researchers mobility network (D2.6 adopted by the project steering group and signed by project coordinator on 15 January 2011).

At the very beginning of the project the Kick-off meeting was organised by the project management team in order to inform the public about the European EURAXESS initiative as well as to raise the awareness of research community and public administration in Montenegro about our duties on the implementation of EURAXESS MONTENEGRO project. This was the first opportunity to widely spread the information on EURAXESS project. The Kick-off meeting was held on 8 February 2010 in Podgorica, at the University of Montenegro Rectorate building, with attendance of the respected guests from EC Delegation in Montenegro (Mr Clive Rumbold, Acting Head of EC Delegation to Montenegro), Ms. Kitty Fehringer (Directorate for Research of the EC), Prof. Dr Gordana Djurovic, Minister for European Integration, Prof. Dr Predrag MIRANOVIĆ, Rector of the University of Montenegro, Prof. Dr Igor RADUSINOVIĆ, Deputy Minister for Education and Science and Prof. Dr Miroslav Trajanović, representative of the Serbian mobility network. There were 49 participants present, including representatives of all universities in Montenegro, research institutions, Ministry of European Integration, Ministry of education and science, Employment Office of Montenegro, Office for International Scientific, Educational, Cultural and Technical Cooperation-SAMTES, National contact point (NCP)s for community programmes at the national level.

As is defined in the project proposal, at the very beginning of the project life, management structure was established and it consists of a coordinator, project manager and project assistant and project Steering group. The overall environment for the management of the project, as well as of national EURAXESS network, management team drafted in the document â?œOperations protocol of the BHO (D2.1) at the beginning of the project. It covers the main pillars on coordination of activities in establishing national researchers mobility network, the internal organisation of BHO (management and work team), scope of work and representation of the interests of BHO and of mobile researchers.

Positions were nominated by the BHO i.e. by the Rector of University of Montenegro mainly from the staff of the Rectorate office for international relations and inter-university cooperation and from Centre of Information System of the University of Montenegro, by means of required compliance and quality of work. Systematisation of the positions is done in accordance with the project description and with defined main groups of operations of BHO: management, development of EURAXESS MONTENEGRO network, development of service centres, EURAXESS portal development, training, promotion /dissemination.

Project coordinator

The head of BHO is EURAXESS MONTENEGRO project coordinator, Prof. Dr Mira Vukcevic, Vice-Rector of the University of Montenegro. The EURAXESS MONTENEGRO coordinator was in charge of strategic decisions for the project after consulting with project steering group. The project coordinator supervised the entire project, took care about operational coordination of all activities in the process of project implementation, monitored the quality of deliverables and reports and monitored the fulfilment of the contract with the EC. The project coordinator chaired the Steering group and prepared together with project manager steering group meetings. The coordinator consults with the steering group regarding the implementation and sustainable development of the EURAXESS network in Montenegro, as well as about the relevant instruments related to the harmonisation of legislation in Montenegro with recommended regulations in the EU. Project coordinator represents EURAXESS MONTENEGRO in the wider public, European mobility and EURAXESS forums.

Project manager

The project manager managed day to day activities, timely execution and quality of results. Project manager is the head of Montenegrin EURAXESS service centre. The project manager oversees the work of the Help-desk, preparation of manuals, quality of training and mobility information system, analyse enquiries and provide system solutions to emerging problems and to monitor quality and relevant experience of individual participants. The project manager ensured smoothly work on promotion of national EURAXESS network. The project manager takes care especially about financial management (accounting, allocation and distribution of the budget, monitoring income and expense plan execution and cost statements). The project manager established internal communication channels with the Steering Group members, and with the members of executive group for mobility (LCPs), in order to facilitate participation of all stakeholders in the project realisation, register feedback, critical points etc. Project manager represented EURAXESS MONTENEGRO at numerous mobility events which was organised in the country and in regional EURAXESS centres, as well as at meetings organised by EC. Significant efforts were made to establish good and regular communication with the representatives of the media. The management structure during the second project period was somewhat changed, due to retiring of the former project manager, Ms Koprivica. The change, introducing Ms Tatjana Kne who was included in project activities from the beginning of the project realisation as project manager, was made in-house, so the transition was smooth, without disturbances to the project implementation.
Activities were carried out as planned and day-to-day management and communication was carried out through usual channels.

Steering group

Steering group is a high level support group and acts as a consultative body for the BHO. Steering group was established by the Decision of the Minister for Education and Science of Montenegro, No. 01-1430/8 at 24/05/2010. Steering group consists consist of 9 nominated members chaired by the BHO coordinator. The nominated members are: Deputy Minister for Science and current president of national Council for Science, representative of the Ministry for Interior Affairs and Public Administration, representative of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, representative of Montenegrin Employers Federation and 5 representatives of research community in Montenegro i.e. from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Metallurgy and Technology, Vice-dean of the Faculty of Economics, Dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences and Vice-dean of the University Mediterranean.

During the course of the project three meetings of the Steering group were organised: two were organised within the first reporting period considering their important role in the establishment of the network, and final meeting was held at the very end of the project.

WP2: Development of the national mobility network

Objectives of this WP were to: develop organisational structure and operational procedures for the Montenegrin mobility network, set up EURAXESS researchers mobility centre Montenegro, establish communication channels between the centre and higher education institutions, research institutes, development centres and enterprise information services and to ensure involvement of all relevant and interested stakeholders in the researchers mobility movement in Montenegro.


The BHO is established at the University of Montenegro by the Decision of the Ministry of Education and Science no. 05-1/12-456 on 20th of April 2009. Scope of its operation is specified by the operations protocol of the BHO (D2.1). Operations protocol of BHO was created at the very beginning of the project implementation and adopted by Rector of University of Montenegro on 28 April 2010, no. 04-664. In the Protocol is prescribed management, working team, scope of work, as well as representation of BHO. Relationship of the BHO to lower structures of the Montenegrin researchers mobility Network, coordination, procedures for working activities and communication within the network is regulated by the rulebook for operations of the national mobility network (D2.6).

The objective of the BHO is to strategically direct the development of the national network, develop and manage the national mobility portal, connect the national network with European EURAXESS network, oversee that the national network functions in compliance with European guidelines, represent the Montenegrin network at national and European level.

BHO Montenegro is headed by the EURAXESS MONTENEGRO project coordinator, Prof. Dr Mira Vukcevic, Vice rector for international relations and scientific research activities. The head of the BHO supervises the entire project and ensure operational coordination of all activities in the process of its implementation. The head will take all major decisions concerning the development of national mobility network after consulting with the steering group. The BHO provides, in accordance with the grant agreement EURAXESS MONTENEGRO project, the appropriate personnel to implement the work program. The staff engaged in EURAXESS service centre in Montenegro is also a staff for the realisation of BHO activities.

BHO and ESC shares the staff. For engagement in BHO Rector shall issue a decision on the proposal of project coordinator.

BHO appoints executive group for mobility from the institutions which have signed the 'Declaration of Commitment by the members of the EURAXESS services network'.

One of the main achievements of the BHO in the first reporting period is that the â?œDeclaration of Commitment by the Members of the EURAXESS services is signed by all three universities in Montenegro: University of Montenegro (public), Mediterranean University (private) and University Donja Gorica (private). Also, its support to implementation of EURAXESS initiative was provided by the Ministry of Education and Science, i.e. by co-signature of the Minister Mr Slavoljub Stijepovic.

The Declaration of Commitment was previously translated and with a brief explanation prepared for submission to the universities. Coordinator and project manager had meetings with rectors of all three universities and with the high-level officials in the Ministry of Education and Science in order to initiate procedures of document signing.

University of Montenegro Senate at its meeting held on 27 May 2010 discussed the document and adopted conclusion to signed the DoC (ref. no. 08-818/1). A similar procedure was carried out on the other two universities, so that the signed documents were submitted to the Minister of Education and Science on co- signature. The signed originals of documents were submitted to the EURAXESS office in EC.

One of the activities that were considered important for development of the network and creation of favourable conditions for researchers at higher education institutions in Montenegro, although it was not foreseen within the EURAXESS MONTENEGRO project, is promotion and activities related to the European charter for researchers and the code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers. EURAXESS Montenegro project staff, i.e. its BHO organisation - University of Montenegro has organised several promotional events and held several meetings with management of two private universities in Montenegro: Mediterranean University and the University Donja Gorica. Activities resulted in all three universities in Montenegro having signed their commitment to the charter and code. Further, the University of Montenegro has joined the 3rd Cohort of the Commission's 'Human resources strategy for researchers incorporating the charter and code', that will hopefully eventually lead to obtaining award of the 'HR excellence in research' logo by the EC. Also, in the next call, both private universities joined the 4th cohort. It can be said that this positive development is solely thanks to the participation in the EURAXESS project.

EURAXESS services centre Montenegro

Considering the current needs and statistics regarding mobility of researchers it has been decided that one services centre will be established in Montenegro for the time. The service centre is established at the University of Montenegro by the Decision of the Rector of the University of Montenegro no. 04-84 on 1 February 2010 and is the core operational structure of the network, located at the University administrative building. There, the reception and helpdesk service are set up. It is headed by the project manager and share staff with BHO. The staff employed is active since the very beginning of the project, according to the criteria set out in the implementation section, of the project proposal. Its relationship with BHO and lower structures of the network (executive group and contact points) is defined by the rulebook for operations of the national mobility network. The first draft of the rulebook was prepared during the first months of project realisation by the management team of EURAXESS MONTENEGRO project with support of the person responsible for legal issues at the rectorate. The proposed version has been presented to the steering group at the meeting held on 24 December 2010. Members of the steering group had few very useful suggestions and it was decided to make alterations and distribute final version via e-mail and receive approval by the Steering group members in the same manner. Final version of the Rulebook for operations of the National Mobility Network was adopted by steering group on 15 January 2011 and signed by project coordinator. Considering that it is meant to be used only in Montenegro, a version in Montenegrin language was prepared and adopted.

Document describes the environment in which the network operates; its mission, vision and basic activities, as well as network development strategy, internal and external relations, rights and duties of certain network members. In the document is defined the communication within and outside the network and with partner public bodies such as Ministry of Education of Montenegro, Ministry of Science of Montenegro, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Ministry of Interior and Public Administration, the Union Montenegrin Employers Federation and Montenegrin representative in European SG HRM. The crucial content of the document is related to the procedures for communication and information sharing within the network, describing the workflows, basic tools, data structure, network assets and quality standards in the process of providing services to mobile researchers, list of relevant contact persons. The content of this document is widely disseminated at the meetings for executive group for mobility organised at the EURAXESS service centres. The Rulebook is printed and submitted to all tree institutions which are LCPs.

Contact points data base and Executive group for mobility

A data base of contact points mobility officers at all relevant higher education institutions, research institutes and development centres, enterprise contacts, was created at the very beginning of the project, including the existing contact base at the international relations office of the UoM and FP7 NCPs. They are in charge to provide information on job vacancies, news, data etc to the EURAXESS service centre and reference people once a researcher comes to their institution.

This was the first step in establishing communication channels between the centre and higher education institutions, research institutes, development centres and enterprise. During the first months of project realisation, these contact points were introduced with the EURAXESS initiative out of which nine were appointed as members of the Executive group for mobility.

For the time being, LCPs have not established yet in the enterprises, as we intended, but EURAXESS management team had two meetings with management representatives of two companies in industrial sones in northern and southern part of Montenegro with the aim to inform and to initiate procedures for establishing LCPs. There were some positive reflectionsat the time, but during the project lifetime these LCPs were still not established. However, cooperation continued.

The Executive group for mobility is appointed by the EURAXESS MONTENEGRO project coordinator, and consists of 9 members who represent different and geographically spread researchers mobility structures. LCPs are appointed from the institutions which have signed the Declaration of Commitment by the Members of the EURAXESS services network, i.e. University of Montenegro, University Donja Gorica and Mediterranean University.

The largest university in Montenegro is the University of Montenegro, public institution, and 7 persons were appointed at this institution. However, considering that the University has faculties distributed across Montenegro (south, central and north part of Montenegro), these 7 persons are located in different parts of Montenegro. The executive group for mobility participates in the most active manner in the development of Montenegrin researchers mobility network, work closely with the project manager and coordinator on production of guides, establishment and running of the mobility data base, portal and training. Apart from the Executive group for mobility, many of contact persons were contacted and consulted in preparation of the Guide for incoming researchers and Guide for outgoing researchers, which represents their direct involvement in the researchers mobility movement in Montenegro.

Study visit to EURAXESS Croatia

EURAXESS Montenegrin team: Prof. Dr. Mira Vukcevic, Slobodanka Koprivica, Jelena Pajković were in a study visit to EURAXESS Croatia ( in period 18-19 October of 2010. This task is combined with one of the tasks within the EURAXESS T.O.P project, where also one study visit was planned to be realised in one of the countries from region that have developed EURAXESS network. Three more persons joined the study visit, financed from the EURAXESS T.O.P.: Dijana Jovanovic, help-desk officer, Lidija Milosavljevic, portal administrator, and Luka Filipovic, portal engineer, in order to learn more about help-desk activities and maintenance of the EURAXESS portal and its improvements.

Purpose of this study visit was to learn more about EURAXESS mobility network, how it operates, who is involved, relations, communication, financing and other relevant issues regarding the development of mobility network, all in order to learn from their experiences and apply good practices within the EURAXESS mobility network. The EURAXESS Croatia team showed great interest to assist us and provided excellent organisation of the study visit and insight into their network, with a special gratitude to Prof. Neven Duic, coordinator of the EURAXESS Croatia mobility network for his assistance in the development of the Montenegrin mobility network.

WP3: Information and assistance for researchers

Objectives of this WP were to create tools for information and assistance to mobile researchers, incoming and outgoing.

Preparation and development of help-desk activities

As explained within the description of activities for WP2, BHO and service centre have established communication channels with officials and contact points in relevant governmental institutions at the very beginning of the project realisation, that could be helpful in mobility issues, such are the Ministry of Education and Science (which was reformed during the course of the project and today we have two ministries: Ministry of Science and Ministry of Education and Sports), Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry for European Integration, Ministry of Interior Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Chamber of Commerce, Department of Public Revenues, and other institutions and agencies.

We have formed groups that would work on preparation of data regarding incoming, outgoing and intersectoral mobility, each from their area of work and activities. Data collected included information necessary for a mobility regarding: entry conditions (visa requirements), work permits, recognition of qualifications, job opportunities, salaries and taxation, pension rights, health care, social security, accommodation, day care and schooling, language courses, general culture of Montenegro, intellectual property rights, frequently asked questions by researchers, specific cases, common problems or obstacles etc.

Working groups were formed and project manager monitored their work and finally collected all information. Representatives of each relevant institution presented information within their area of work at the two day seminar held in Bar on 24-26 September 2010 (WP4, task 4.1) where fruitful discussions were held with researchers and members of Executive group for Mobility regarding Montenegrin and EU legislation, rights and obligations, and administrative procedures. Information presented during seminar was later used for preparation of the guide for incoming researchers.

Process of collection and update of the information is setup by the document rulebook for operations of the national mobility network (see task EURAXESS service centre Montenegro above)

Part of this task is preparation of the manual for help desk operations (D3.1). BHO coordinator, project manager, help-desk officer and portal administrator worked on the development of this document which resulted in the final version of document comprising activities of the help-desk: rights and responsibilities, working hours, communication, queries, requests, data collection, reporting, technical issues. Considering that it is meant to be used only in Montenegro, by persons involved in help desk activities, a version in Montenegrin language was prepared, adopted and printed for the BHO needs.

Help desk

The help desk is one of the services of the EURAXESS service centre, established as an office in the UoM administrative building, within the international relations office, with one full time employed officer that is trained to provide researchers with assistance and information related to researchers mobility. The requests to the help desk are possible through emails, web help-desk form, phone or direct visits. The centre, i.e. help-desk acts as a contact point for all incoming researchers, including expatriate ones returning to Montenegro, as well as outgoing researchers and researchers participating in intersectoral mobility. For this purpose, BHO and mobility centre organised collection of information material from various sources and build up knowledge and experience among its staff, as explained in the task preparation and development of help-desk activities above. Help-desk officer, under the supervision of project manager, is responsible to put most effort in recording of enquiries and establishing procedures for tackling requests and informing the contact points on the procedures. Duties and responsibilities of the help-desk officer are fully described in the Manual for Help desk operations.

The main activities include support to incoming researchers, providing practical information on living and working in Montenegro, responding to individual requests providing tailor-made responses, but also to outgoing researchers in directing them towards host country mobility centres, in opportunities of return and use their dual position to start or enhance cooperation. The help desk logs each action, which later serves for reporting and monitoring purposes. The log will include the list of all questions delivered to the help desk, the time of first / final response, the response itself, and other important details for keeping statistics.

Help desk was in charge for preparation of the Mobility handbook for officials dealing with mobility in research and research related institutions. It represents a set of information, package of information meant to be used by officials dealing with mobility in Montenegrin institutions that employ or are somehow related with mobility of researchers. Considering that it will be used by Montenegrin officials, it is prepared and published in Montenegrin language. At first, it was planned to contain only some important issues regarding mobility and rulebook for operations of the national mobility network, but project team decided that it must contain as much information as possible in order to provide answer to various issues and questions. Therefore, the Handbook contains information on 102 pages on publishing of job vacancies in Montenegro and EURAXESS jobs portal, visa issues, entrance and stay in Montenegro, short-term and long-term stay, recognition of diplomas and professional qualifications, employment procedures, social security, health care, taxes. Also, added are full texts of European charter for researchers and code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers (translated in Montenegrin language), rulebook for operations of the national mobility network, guide for jobs publishing at the EURAXESS jobs portal (prepared by help-desk officer), sample forms for some administrative procedures. The Handbook is also available in PDF format at the EURAXESS Montenegro portal at

Mobility guide for researchers coming to Montenegro

As it is described in the project proposal, the publication for incoming researchers is planned be a nicely designed and comprehensive guide in English language that will present all relevant information defined during the preparation of help desk service and portal, and taking into account all the information gathered in the meantime by the help desk. Collection of information was performed during the first months of the project, in a manner as explained within the description of activities for WP2 and WP3 task 3.1.

In September 2010, at the two day training seminar for Executive group for mobility (WP4, task 4.1) we had researchers and representatives of all relevant institutions regarding legislation and administrative procedures important for an incoming researcher, and we have agreed about the contents of the guide, i.e. what should be important, interesting and useful for foreign researcher living and working in Montenegro.

Contents of the guide are divided into four sections:

- General information about Montenegro (geography, history, political system, religion, climate and weather, transport, accommodation, culture, national holidays, education).
- Administrative rights and obligations of a foreign researcher (recognition of diplomas and professional qualifications, visa requirements overview for the Republic of Montenegro, temporary stay for the purpose of scientific research, temporary stay for the purpose of family reunification, temporary stay for the purpose of work, education and other, social security and pension system, health care, taxation, employment procedure in Montenegro, intellectual property rights).
- Research in Montenegro (Montenegrin RTD sector, Main stakeholders involved in ST policy making in Montenegro, Research institutions in Montenegro, IT support for research, academic network, RTD expenditure, national RTD strategic and legal framework, research infrastructure, business, innovation and technology in Montenegro, possibilities of external funding of research and innovation.
- About EURAXESS MONTENEGRO (project team, steering group members, BHO and Services centre addresses, list of LCPs and contact details, intersectoral group that has contributed to the collection of information).

The first issue of the researchers guide to Montenegro was designed and printed in 500 copies, in 52 attractively designed pages, prepared for A5 booklet print) in February 2011, it can also be found and downloaded in pdf format at the address:

It was presented and distributed to European EURAXESS network members at Cyprus in March 2011 at the EURAXESS biannual conference. Also, it is distributed to foreign partners of the University of Montenegro, foreign researchers that are currently in Montenegro, at several international events organised at universities etc.

Added value of this guide is that it was used in the preparation of the action plan for mobility of researchers prepared by the Ministry of Science and adopted by the Government of Montenegro in March 2011, with a direct reference to EURAXESS MONTENEGRO project and initiative in general.

During the course of the project, the second and third issues were printed with additional information that were considered important for incoming researchers. All three issues could be found in pdf format at the

Practical guide for Montenegrin outgoing researchers

Within the EURAXESS MONTENEGRO project it is planned to prepare and publish a guide for outgoing researchers, i.e. for Montenegrin researchers who wants to live and work in one of the European countries. Collection of information was performed by project coordinator, project manager and help-desk officer, in cooperation with contact persons from relevant ministries.

Collected information was presented at the second training seminar for the executive group for mobility held in June 2011 (WP4, task 4.1) where it was also discussed with researchers that were participants of the seminar.

It has been decided, considering the needs of Montenegrin researchers, to divide information into four sections: Regulations (regulations at national and institutional level, policies and support to mobility of researchers by the Ministry of Science, social security), EURAXESS (what is EURAXESS, how to find a job, how to register and post a CV, list of EURAXESS national portals, scientific visa package), funds (available funds for researchers with special accent to Marie Curie schemes) and contacts and useful links (EURAXESS Montenegro team, BHO, service centre)

The guide is prepared in both, Montenegrin and English languages. Considering that it is prepared for Montenegrin researchers, a Montenegrin version is printed in 500 copies (38 attractively designed pages, prepared for A5 booklet print) and could be downloaded at the address while the version in English language was not printed but uploaded at the Montenegrin portal in pdf format at

In preparation of all information, documents and publications, significant contribution was provided by the University of Montenegro management structure, i.e. rector and vice rectors. They were consulted considering their wide experience as researchers, experience in national research advisory boards, and as policy makers at the institutional level.

WP4: Training

Objectives of this WP were to build human capacity by organising training sessions, of National Mobility Network members in assisting mobile researchers with regard to all the problems and issues they are faced with when coming to Montenegro.

Three one-day workshops

Within the project, it was planned to organise three one-day workshops for wider group of contact points, one in each of the following towns: Podgorica, Niksic and Bar. Considering that University of Montenegro employs large number of researchers at the faculties and institute in Kotor, it was decided to make modification and postpone presentation planned for Bar and instead to organise it in Kotor.

Purpose of the workshops is to establish initial communication with contact points, present national mobility network, major issues and opportunities of researchers mobility, network communication strategy and requirements for the data collection, submission and update.

In order to attract even more participants from research community, workshops are organised so that they could hear more about EURAXESS, but also about other programmes that are carried out by the International Relations Office of the University of Montenegro. Ms Dijana Jovanovic presented the national mobility network, how EURAXESS initiative was accepted in Montenegro, how the network was established- BHO, services centre, how network of LCPs should be developed, what should be done to make the network more operative, further steps in its development. She also spoke about EU initiatives regarding researchers mobility, their rights and obligations, efforts done so far to facilitate their mobility, rights and obligations of an institution that employs researchers, further intentions and plans to facilitate mobility at European level.

Presentation of the EU EURAXESS portal followed, its four segments jobs, rights, services, links and what kind of information and services they could get, how to register, post CV and find fellowships and grants, how to find a job vacancy, demonstration of the process of registration, what services to expect once when they get a job in one of the European countries, how national EURAXESS portal is developed and what kind of information and services they will find there.

Participants in three cities showed great interest in EURAXESS initiative and readiness to be actively involved in its development, many questions were asked regarding their possibilities within this initiative, what benefits should they gain as individuals, as institution and at national level.

The first training seminar

Within the EURAXESS MONTENEGRO project, WP4, task 4.1 it is planned to organise a two-day training seminar for Executive group / LCPs. The first two-day seminar within the project would include presentation of general overview of major mobility issues, opportunities and scenarios to mobility officers from the Executive group on mobility. Seminar would present main legislation and practical issues for incoming researchers mobility in Montenegro: employment of foreigners, recognition of academic degrees, social insurance, health and medical care, taxation, social issues. For this purpose, best available national experts in these fields should be engaged as trainers (from ministries, agencies, legal experts, IT experts). Information presented during seminar would be later used for preparation of the guide for incoming researchers.

Besides the EURAXESS team members and the executive group for mobility, we had an opportunity to hear experiences from EURAXESS Serbia and Montenegrin legislative presentations by representatives from all relevant ministries in Montenegro, and also from representatives of researcher community.

Owing to the significant contribution of all participants, we had an opportunity to have an insight into the procedures and steps which a foreigner has to go through if he/she wants to spend some time working and living in Montenegro. Procedures are not so easy and administrative obstacles are not negligible. Montenegrin laws should be more harmonised with each other regarding procedures that a foreigner has to undertake. Participants stated that this seminar was an excellent idea and opportunity, not just within the context of collection of information for incoming researchers, but also to exchange practices and overview legislative at the national level and to become aware of some issues that they did not consider before.

Therefore, an overall conclusion is that joining the EURAXESS initiative and establishing a qualitative network in Montenegro should have a significant impact on future law amendments, all in order to facilitate procedures and create attractive environment for foreign researchers and their families.
Fruitful discussion and presentations resulted in preparation of contents for the guide for incoming researchers.

The Second training seminar

The second two-day seminar within the project would include presentation of EURAXESS principles and guidelines, FP7 'People' programme, European charter for researchers, code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers. In order to provide adequate quality of training it is foreseen to invite experts from region. Since EURAXESS Croatia has very good experiences in these matters and excellent results within the EURAXESS network, it has been decided to invite representative from the EURAXESS Croatia-Mr Robert Bija, legal expert.

Participants had an opportunity to know more about the published guide for incoming researchers, where most of them had contributed during the First training seminar. Mr Robert Bijasic, EURAXESS Croatia, presented the European charter for researchers and code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers. He spoke in detail about its 40 principles, what it means for the state and institutions that decide to follow these principles and steps for their implementation, which was further discussed within the Montenegrin context. He further presented the scientific visa package, EU directives, differences, similarities between scientific visa package and EU blue card, how it is implemented in Croatia, procedure of hosting, changes made in the Law on Foreigners etc. He also presented static data on frequently asked questions and services provided to foreigners, and some major obstacles to the mobility of researchers and how it is presented in the action plan for researchers mobility 2011-2012.

The second part of the work session was organised so that the trainers for specific topics helped the participants in formulating the necessary changes in regulations Montenegro aiming to harmonise them with EU directives.

On the second day of seminar, Ms Dijana Jovanovic presented draft version of the guide for outgoing researchers and its four segments: national and institutional legislative, EURAXESS initiative and EURAXESS Jobs portal, available funds for researchers, contacts. It has been suggested that it should include information on health insurance and also about scientific visa package, which was taken into consideration and included in the published version of the guide. She also presented EURAXESS jobs portal and how one researcher can register, find fellowship and grant, find job vacancy and apply.

The Third training seminar

As described within the project. The third two-day seminar will be aimed also to the executive group on mobility. It would comprise presentation of data requirements specification, national mobility portal specification, and its first release as well as of training in implementing the procedures for collecting, technical editing and updating of the portal content and use of portal collaboration tools. Since it is planned to subcontract the development of the portal, the trainers should be from the institution designated for the work (i.e. Faculty of Mechanical Engineering University of Nis).

It was planned to organise a comprehensive two-day workshop with main objective to train the executive group to manage portal contents and work with on-line tools in order to further develop national mobility network. It has been agreed that Mr Milan Sdravkovic would perform training sessions, which he gladly accepted. Unfortunately, due to health reasons occurred just few days before the training seminar, Mr Sdravkovic was not in a position to travel. Also, due to the fact that this seminar was previously postponed, as previously explained within the first periodic report, we have reached the decision to realise training seminar in one day and to organise video conference with Mr Sdravkovic. Despite the last minute changes, the training seminar was a successful event where main objectives were fully reached.

WP5: Development of national mobility portal

Objectives of this WP are to launch Montenegrin mobility portal as the main information tool for mobile researchers and provide an interactive platform for efficient content management and online communication of involved stakeholders.

The mission of national mobility portal is to become a single point of access to all information and services provided to researchers coming to host institutions in Montenegro, as well as for local researchers interested in participating in outgoing or inter-sartorial mobility schemes. Portal supplements the European researchers mobility portal by providing more specific information about living and working in Montenegro, as well as providing job opportunities information. A contract on development and implementation of the web portal was signed between Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Ni¡, Serbia (MEF) and University of Montenegro, Podgorica, Montenegro (UoM), and project charter for technical assistance in implementation of web portal (see online for further details). One training visit to Ni¡ was realised in August 2010, where Luka Filipovic-portal engineer and Dijana Jovanovic-helpdesk officer learned about the EURAXESS portals, how they function and how it is operated. With a special gratitude to Mr Milan Sdravkovi for his great assistance in development of the Montenegrin EURAXESS portal and who hosted the training session, it was a comprehensive and fruitful training, which resulted in further development of the portal.

The technical work in this package is performed by professionals from the Centre of Information System of the UoM, while the overall management of the portal is the task of the BHO. All necessary equipment for the portal operation was purchased and located in the premises of the CIS. National EURAXESS portal had great impact to the overall performance in first phase of the EURAXESS MONTENEGRO project.

Hosting, technical development and design of the national portal

A separate server in CIS is provided for the portal. Hosting and broadband connection is secured by CIS, managing body of the academic network and domain. EURAXESS server operates in controlled and protected room (restricted access, cameras, alarm devices, security guard controlling all people coming to the building) located in CIS. At least one person employed by CIS will always be present on premises 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Security of EURAXESS web server is improved with set of firewalls: network firewall, Linux host firewall and mod_sec firewall (which controls port 80 for web trafic). After promotion of the web site was started weekly backup of database and files.
All portal pages are tested in order to ensure browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari) compatibility and continue backup and security actions.

Content development and maintenance of the portal

Material prepared in other WP is edited for web use. There is also an interactive contents aimed at involvement of the research community in the project and the topic of mobility in general. A prototype of the portal, with initial design, content structure and initial information was posted on the web in October 2010. The second version with improved contents and technical quality was posted in December 2010. Launching event promotion of the national portal was organised in December 2010. Implementation of Montenegrin EURAXESS portal and web application for its management / maintenance was done by MEF. MEF also installed all necessary application code at portal hosting location. The content and quality are subject to permanent control, by project manager on a weekly basis, and more detailed by BHO coordinator on a monthly basis.

EURAXESS MONTENEGRO portal is integrated with the European EURAXESS lobs portal, by using the web services. The portal provides an information and online services for incoming and outgoing mobile researchers how to enter and organise living in Montenegro, contact information, access to the tools for finding jobs, fellowships or grants throughout Europe, information and links about R&D organisations in Montenegro. National portal also provides extensive online news coverage of the activities and events, performed or organised in scope of development of national researchers mobility network, as well as the online facilities for registration and surveying of the mobile researchers. During this period three job vacancies were posted from EURAXESS MONTENEGRO portal. Guide for incoming researchers was published on the portal in February 2011. Version of the portal having content in Montenegrin language is visible since April 2011. An attempt has been made through this Portal to provide comprehensive, accurate, reliable and up-to-date information about research in Montenegro and its various facets. There are exclusive sections for all of mentioned target groups. Sections targeting special interest groups such as outgoing researchers, incoming researchers, researchers in Montenegro are also present. A variety of researcher services being provided by the EURAXESS across pages also accessed from the portal. Besides, one can find news and announcements, FAQ, newsletter, site map. on the national portal. Practical information and Help desk are offered under EURAXESS services.

All fifteen criteria from EURAXESS Top project are fulfilled through participation in the network call announced within the TOP I project.

Recently, final version of the Portal has also been developed and updated. The portal is being continuously enhanced in terms of scope and coverage of information and services. The content is contributed from all across the country by service centre, as well as BHO nominated at the State level.
The portal contains disclaimer and analytics disclaimer.

Portal administrators of the national portal had participated in several meetings organised by the EC or within the EURAXESS TOP I and TOP II related to portal development, such is the meeting in Riga (November 2012) and Brussels (May 2012). Main goal of trainings was to initiate administrators to increase visibility and content quality of national portal, and improve their promotional and writing skills.


In period of 1 December 2010 - 21 February 2013 national EURAXESS portal has been visited 5 789 times, by 4 021 unique visitors, from 81 countries (great most from Montenegro 2 514, Serbia 494, then United States 467, UK with 143), with total of 16 252 page views, producing the average of 2.81 pages per visit, with 00:01:50 of the average visit duration.

There was 69.01 % of new visits, and 65.07 % of bounce rate. 23.18 % of the visits were generated by direct traffic, 22.06 % came from the referring websites and 54.76 % from search engines. The most useful referring websites were website of the BHO, (website of the international relationships office of the BHO, one of 3 universities in Montenegro. 30.97 % of the visitors visited the portal more than once. In order to improve the visibility of the portal, Facebook page was created but steel there is no visits from that page.

Promotion of the portal

In order to promote national portal and services it provides, a leaflet is prepared, designed and printed in 500 copies. It is printed for dissemination in domestic and partner research communities. It is aimed to reach different groups through this activity, including industry, other universities, researchers, employers and employer unions, agencies specialised for dissemination of career opportunities, Employment Bureau of Montenegro, and others. Information presented within the leaflet are: what is EURAXESS and its four segments, what is national EURAXESS network, objectives of the network, universities that have signed the Declaration of Commitment, EURAXESS Montenegro mission, what kind of information could be found at the national portal and what services could be get, BHO and services centre contact details.

It is distributed at each event organised by EURAXESS Montenegro and events organised through some other project or by another institution that has some relation to researchers and their employment.

A lot of effort was made to put the banner of the EURAXESS at some of the most important web sites in Montenegro (those that are of interest to researchers, such are web sites of universities, Ministry of Science, faculties). In addition, announcement regarding EURAXESS network was placed in three journals (printed version) and banners on their web sites: Mathematica Montisnigri, Montenegrin Journal of Sports Science and Medicine and Agriculture and Forestry.

WP6: Dissemination

Objectives of this WP were to promote activities of the Montenegrin researchers mobility network and enhance visibility of information and services delivered to target groups.

Launching event

Within this WP it was planned to organise a Launching event, promotion of the Montenegrin EURAXESS portal. It was planned to be a distinguished event organised after the launch of the portal and would include research community, industry representatives, media, government officials.

The Launching event was held on 24 December 2010. Invited were representatives of research and science community, representatives of all three universities in Montenegro, industry representatives, government officials and media representatives. The event was very well accepted and there was a great interest for it. Media showed high interest in this event and it was widely covered. National and independent media were equally interested in this project. TV media reported on this event on the very day, and print media published detailed and informative articles on EURAXESS initiative and this event particularly. Main speakers were Prof. Dr Mira VukÄ, vice rector for international relations at the University of Montenegro and BHO coordinator, Prof. Dr Igor Radusinović, Ministry for Education and Science and Mr Aleksandar Drljevi, Ministry for European Integration. Google analytics dashboard provides the information on the evident increase of visits to the national EURAXESS portal when the launching event was held.

One two-day international workshop

Since Montenegro is one of the countries from region that has not participated in any initiatives aimed at mobility, it was essential to establish contacts with mobility experts from other countries. WBCs are the natural choice for one of the most important prospective partners, together with EU partners. It is envisaged to organise this workshop at Montenegrin coast, since it was more cost-effective than organising it in Podgorica. The main aim of the workshop, held on 9-10 June 2011, is to establish contacts, exchange experiences of national mobility centres and presentation of research landscapes. The first day was dedicated to presentations of the regional centres national support for incoming researchers, state-of-art in logistics and financing, and the second day of the workshop was dedicated to presentations of research landscapes. On the second day of the workshop, we had an opportunity to hear about the research landscapes of Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, FYROM, Romania and Serbia. Montenegrin research landscape was presented by Ms Milena Milonjic, Ministry of Science of Montenegro. On both days, all present had an opportunity to participate in a very dynamic and fruitful discussion and exchange of information, many questions were asked and discussed regarding researchers mobility and opportunities.

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