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Talentia fellowships for experienced postdoctoral researchers in all areas of knowledge and committed to innovation and sustainable development

Final Report Summary - TALENTIA POSTDOC (Talentia fellowships for experienced postdoctoral researchers in all areas of knowledge and committed to innovation and sustainable development)

Talentia Postdoc was designed with the aim of attracting and retaining in Andalucía excellent experienced researchers, who could provide a stimulus for research institutions in the region to adopt best practices in R&D, to be more connected internationally, and above all, to produce better science and knowledge for the society.
The project was inspired by MSCA and by Talentia Fellowships, a postgraduate fellowship programme created in 2007 by the Regional Government of Andalucía to support university graduates able to get admitted to Master and PhD programmes in world best universities around the world.
Talentia Postdoc offered 16 two-year contracts to experienced researchers, under an incoming or outgoing mobility scheme. All the researchers were to be hired by universities and research institutions in Andalucía, and would also carry out their research at other international research institutions during the outgoing phase of their fellowships.
The programme offered a competitive salary, travel and mobility allowances, and a contribution to research costs, all under the conditions of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the recruitment of researchers.
After a significant delay in the start of the programme, due to the financial crisis and a major government restructuring, the programme was launched in March 2014. Since then, the programme has been running on schedule and has achieved most of its objectives and technical goals for the period with relatively minor deviations.
The call for applications was opened for two months and 247 applications from 26 countries were received. The call was posted in Euraxess and other international websites.
A call for expressions of interest from independent experts willing to be part of the evaluation committee was also posted in Euraxess. The Committee met in June 2014 for final deliberations, with the attendance of EC observers, and the candidates were selected.
All 16 fellowships offered were awarded: 12 outgoing, 4 incoming; 9 to men and 7 to women. Researchers started their two-year contracts between september and october 2014.
A total of 8 fellows were hired by universities: 4 by Universidad de Granada, 3 by Universidad de Sevilla and 1 by Universidad de Córdoba. The other 8 fellows were hired by research centers: 2 by Instituto de Ciencia de los Materiales de Sevilla, 1 by Estación Biológica de Doñana, 1 by Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas, 1 by Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra, 1 by Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible de Córdoba, 1 by Instituto de Estudios Sociales Avanzados and 1 by Fundación Progreso y Salud.
List of host institutions:
- Centre d'Écologie Fonctionelle et Évolutive
- Centro de Investigaçao em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos (CIBIO)
- Dublin city University
- Estación Biológica de Doñana
- Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas
- Fundación Progreso y Salud (FPS)
- Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (IACT)
- Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible de Cordoba
- Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Sevilla (ICMS)
- Instituto de Estudios Sociales Avanzados
- Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoo
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Universidad de Córdoba
- Universidad de Granada
- Universidad de Sevilla
- Universidad Philipps de Marburg
- Université Bordeaux III
- Universiteit Gent
- University of Cambridge
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Glasgow
- University of Oxford

As stated, most of the objectives and technical goals for the period have been achieved, with relatively minor deviations. Out of the 16 fellows, 10 have finished their 24-month contracts without any issue; 4 have finished their contracts earlier, at 18, 19, 21 and 23 months, due to the urge to start other contracts that could not be further postponed; and two fellows took 16-week family breaks that are to be compensated outside the EU funding. As their contracts will run beyond the end date, they will be fully funded by the beneficiary, the Regional Government of Andalucía.
The research activity funded by Talentia Postdoc has lead to 117 publications and the participation in 60 conferences, among other results reported by the researchers.
At the closing of this report, 10 out of the 16 researchers had secured other research positions, all of them within the ERA, 4 were unemployed and 2 were finishing their contracts after a family break.
This sets a positive expectation about the impact of the programme, as the main goal of attracting and retaining excellent researchers to the ERA, and preferably to Andalucía, is in the process to be reached.
The fact the researchers have found permament positions right after their fellowships, many of them at their host institutions, makes us think the selection process was successful, the incentives were right to attract and retain the researchers, and the support structure created through the host institutions has allowed for them to continue their careers within the ERA.
All of the information about the project is published at
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