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Rubicon II

Final Report Summary - RUBICON II (Rubicon II)

Within Rubicon researchers are encouraged to dedicate themselves to a career in postdoctoral research, giving them the chance to enhance their career prospects by spending up to two years at a top research institute outside the Netherlands or at an excellent Dutch research institute. Proposals are assessed on the basis of the quality of the applicant, the research proposal and the host institute. The Rubicon programme is open to all scientific disciplines. Female researchers are especially encouraged to apply.

The Rubicon programme is directed at promising postdoctoral researchers who are still at the start of their careers but whose academic strengths give them the potential to become established figures in the Dutch research world. The Marie Sklodowska Curie Action Cofund contribution enabled Rubicon to continue the funding of the salaries of the fellows. Both attracting researchers to the Netherlands and guaranteeing the social benefits for the outgoing fellows fits within the objectives and scope of the Marie Curie Cofund because it increases European (and international) possibilities for experienced researchers. Shortly after obtaining their doctorate, researchers can broaden and deepen their individual competence. The two kinds of mobility of incoming and outgoing fellows support researchers in attaining leading independent positions and strengthening the European Research community.

There were two Rubicon submission rounds held in 2011 which received Cofunding from the MSCA with deadlines on 31 March and 1 September. A total of 523 applications were submitted of which 43 fellows enjoyed a Rubicon grant with a MSCA Cofund contribution. 13 fellows of the 43 awarded fellows came from the Humanities and Social sciences (Alfa-Gamma), 7 from the Beta sciences and 23 from the Life sciences. Seven of the 43 fellows were incoming and 36 were outgoing fellows. A substantial part of the fellows were female (18).

38 fellows expect to make use of the results and experience gained during the Rubicon project frequently in their current work whereas 39 fellows state that they will be active in scientific research.

There is no obligation in Rubicon to return to Europe. Nevertheless NWO monitors the career steps of the fellows after finishing their Rubicon project. 19 fellows decided to remain in the host country after their project and 25 fellows returned to their home country after their Rubicon project. On the other hand only 7 fellows will be working outside Europe after their Rubicon project, 6 in the US and 1 returned to his home country Korea. That means that 85% is continuing research within the European Research Area. One may conclude that the Rubicon fellows are highly mobile researchers.

When we look at the bigger picture including the Rubicon submission rounds outside this Cofund contribution, the data exhibit a high success rate of more than 40% for Rubicon researchers in the Veni, Vidi and Vici schemes of NWO. These Dutch schemes are individual grants comparable to the ERC Starting and Advanced grants. This indicates that the Rubicon researchers greatly benefit from the experience gained during their Rubicon project.

Rubicon was continued after the Cofund contribution and is still being executed by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, further information can be found at the website