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Academie universitaire Louvain Incoming Post-Doc Fellowshpis

Final Report Summary - IPOD (Academie universitaire Louvain Incoming Post-Doc Fellowshpis)

From 2006 on, the French-speaking Community of Belgium has organized its eight universities in three Academies. In this legal context, the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) is part of the “Academie Universitaire Louvain” (AUL) which also comprises the Facultés universitaires catholiques de Mons (FUCAM), the Facultés universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix Namur (FUNDP), and the Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis (FUSL). It should be noted that on the 15th of September 2011, UCL and FUCaM merged. The “Académie universitaire Louvain” was since then composed of three member universities: the UCL, the Université Saint Louis and the Université de Namur. On the 6th of November 2013, the « Academie universitaire Louvain » has been dissolved further to an educational reform in Belgium. However, the three universities decided to pursue their collaboration. With respect to the “IPoD programme”, UCL acts as the operator on behalf of the three partner universities.

Building upon the existing Mobility Fellowships programme of the UCL called “Bourses post-doctorales à l'accueil de post-doctorants étrangers” as well as similar schemes existing in partners Universities, the three institutions decided to apply for co-funding by the European Commission in order to improve the scheme. This joint initiative leads to a stronger visibility of our research programmes to the research community at large and to a higher level of attractiveness of our three institutions for talented researchers from outside Belgium. Last but not least, this allows the three universities to be able to offer a higher number of post-doctoral positions and a higher success rate for these positions as a result of the financial input from the European Commission.

Specifically, thanks to the alliance of the three partner universities, the budget has been increased from 600.000 to 900.000 EUR/year. With a co-funding of 40% by the European Commission, we reach an annual budget of 1.5 million EUR.

The “IPoD fellowships” scheme is managed by the Research Department of the UCL which also provides logistical and administrative support for research missions and activities of benefit to the university community.

Concretely, the programme of 4 years relates to incoming mobility and is open to experienced researchers from all nationalities and is based on a bottom-up approach. The duration of the fellowships may vary from 12 to 24 months and the potential applicant has the choice between 154 research entities spread over 5 cities and 3 universities.

The programme is addressed to:
- Experienced researchers
- Holding a doctoral degree or having at least 4 years of full-time equivalent research experience since gaining a university diploma giving them access to doctoral studies
- Postdoctoral researchers with a maximum of 6 years of post-doc, counting from the time the thesis was obtained (reference date being the starting date of the project)
- Researchers having resided or carried out their main activity in Belgium for more than 12 months in the 3 years prior to the starting date of the project are not eligible (mobility criteria).

For the whole programme and the 3 calls, 73 fellowships have been funded. Among the total number of selected fellows, 75% were EU. The majority is coming from France, Italy and Spain. Regarding the non-EU nationals, 11 countries are equally represented: Switzerland, Brazil, China, U.S.A. Australia, Colombia, Pakistan, Georgia, Russia, India and Algeria