CORDIS - EU research results

AFR Postdoc (Luxembourg)

Final Report Summary - AFR-POSTDOC (AFR Postdoc (Luxembourg))

The AFR Postdoc Scheme ( managed by the National Research Fund Luxembourg (FNR), is in place since 1st October 2008, and was co-funded by the Marie-Curie Actions for an initial period from 2.3.2009 to 1.3.2013 renewed by the present COFUND contract covering the period from 1.12.2011 to 30.11.2015.

The main objectives of the scheme were:
- to attract promising researchers from any nationality to Luxembourg and promote their integration into the R&D environment
- to support Luxembourg stemming researchers in excellent research groups abroad
- to promote the international and intersectoral mobility of researchers
- to improve working conditions for researchers by offering work contracts to the selected fellows
- to ensure a high scientific quality of projects through evaluation and monitoring
- to enhance the employment and career opportunities of the fellows through dedicated support measures.

All researchers funded under the present COFUND scheme received work contracts with full social security coverage.

A total of 5 calls for proposals were organized during which 120 fellows were selected. Out of these 12 dropped out for other opportunities (mainly longer-term funding) before starting their grants, so that a total of 108 fellows were supported by the EU COFUND contribution.

195 fellow-years were completed on 30.11.2015 – of which 166 fellow-years are co-funded by the EU. The fellow-years that exceed the COFUND contingent will be covered by the FNR’s own funds, as initially planned.
AFR fellowships were monitored through annual and final reports. During the COFUND reporting period, the online submission tool and management system AIMS was extended and included an online paperless reporting system operational since 2013. It was further developed during the reporting period, in particular by adding a statistics tool for automatic data export towards EXCEL to monitor the AFR population and produce regularly updated statistics. An example of such a statistical extract of the cofounded fellows is attached.

AFR Postdoc fellows had training budgets of 4000 EUR at their disposal, which they could use individually for scientific and non-scientific training. Fellows actively participated in international conferences abroad and in summer-schools and also non-scientific training courses serving their career development.

In addition to this training allowance, the FNR organised a series of training seminars over the full project period, comprising project management training, a seminar on job interviews with a professional agency, as well as a specific seminar on postdoc career development opportunities, jointly organised with the Association Bernard Gregory, the German-French University Association and the Luxembourg partner institutions (“Postdoctoriales 2015”). In addition, the FNR covered the participation of interested fellows to ESOF 2012 and ESOF 2014 in Dublin, with a total of 10 fellows participating.

In the framework of the project, an international conference on Career Tracking was organised jointly with the European Science Foundation in February 2012. As an outcome, the FNR participated with 4 other funding agencies in a career tracking pilot study carried out by the ESF in 2014/15. The majority of the participating 80 AFR postdocs were MSCA Cofunded fellows from the current and former COFUND contract. The study results are available online:

Finally the EU COFUND grant to the AFR postdoc scheme has led the FNR to organise the 2015 MSCA International Conference on the MSCA COFUND action on 10-11 December 2015. All conference contributions are available on the conference website and the conference report shall be published by mid-2016 and accessible via the homepage.