CORDIS - EU research results

AMerican Bridge for the Excellence in Research with Europe

Final Report Summary - AMBER (AMerican Bridge for the Excellence in Research with Europe)

Executive Summary:
The AMBER project arose at a time when the Euraxess network was reinforcing relations with Latin America through the launching of Euraxess Links Brazil. The University of Zaragoza had a wide long-term experience in mobility of researchers with LAC countries so we took the opportunity to create synergies with Euraxess Links and with those centres and institutions with a higher level of cooperation with Latin America, which proved to be Portugal, France, Italy and the United Kingdom.
One of the main aims of the AMBER project was the implementation of precise and sustainable actions to increase the researchers’ mobility between Latin America and Europe. The partners and institutions participating in AMBER have obtained the information that would help them to improve and increase mobility, and this information (analysis, evaluations, proposals, manuals…) can be extrapolated and used by the whole Euraxess network. These actions would improve the intercontinental mobility providing continuity to those researchers who currently develop their activity in Europe, facilitating the return of European investigators avoiding the brain drain, and attracting high-skilled scientists.
With the different analysis we developed within the project, we were able to elaborate a Best practices manual in which we proposed several actions and measures to minimize the barriers related to researchers’ mobility. This manual can be very helpful for institutions facing problems to attract talent. Nevertheless we have to mention that some of the problems and barriers should be treated politically at a European level.
Through the development of the different actions, we have learnt that if we want to make research careers more attractive, especially in Europe, we have to provide help to the researchers. It is necessary not only to help them with “paper work” (visa, homologations…) but also with the integration in a new country and a new culture. ESC are crucial for this integration. We have to develop a support network in which they can rely whenever and whatever they need.

Euraxess Service Centres can and must play a crucial role to foster international mobility and cooperation between Europe and researchers from Latin American Countries (LACs), but more visibility of the network, efficient mobility services and assistance are needed to make research careers in Europe more desirable for Latin Americans. Most crucial of all though, is the provision funding opportunities to support mobility. During the course of the AMBER project, one of the partners (British Council) has been very active in the area of establishing funding initiatives with a number of countries worldwide, including four in the LAC region (Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Colombia). Under the UK Government’s ‘Newton Fund’ the British Council has opened calls for mobility grants, workshops and longer term partnerships, working together with key research funding organizations from the partner countries. As a result there will be an increased flow of researchers between the UK and the four LAC countries, but also longer term, sustainable relationships built at the group and institutional level. Although EC funding was not directly used to establish these funding schemes, the insights and knowledge that the AMBER project brought, and the opportunities to engage with high level stakeholders and potential matched funders, has been extremely valuable in developing the programmes.
The AMBER project has promoted Europe as an attractive destination for highly skilled researchers by eliminating mobility obstacles, fostering EU–LAC cooperation and strengthening the activities of the EURAXESS Network.
Although the scientific exchange between Latin America and European countries has undergone a significant growth, we have seen through the development of the project that there is a lot to be done.

Project Context and Objectives:
AMBER initiative came up as a result of different factors. On the one hand the FP7 Call, and on the other hand, the opening of Euraxess Brazil. It was a seen as a great opportunity to foster mobility between Latin America and Europe.
International cooperation is a key point for AMBER, due to the strong historical links between Latin America and the countries of the Atlantic area. Although the scientific exchange between Latin America and European countries have undergone a significant growth, there is a lot to be done. In this context, the purpose of AMBER is to overcome difficulties identified in LAC-EU mobility in order to make research careers in Europe more attractive. We want to foster international mobility and cooperation between Europe and LAC researchers. To meet these goals, AMBER consortium has mobilized the knowledge, expertise and skills of 5 members of Euraxess network, and has also the experience and advice of 2 external experts. The 7 institutions offer and attractive and stimulating environment for mobility of researchers and international cooperation.
The project is coordinated by the University of Zaragoza since they have big experience in mobility of researchers with LAC countries. A great part of the activity in their Euraxess Service Centre is focused on mobility with Latin-America. So according to the scope of the project, Portugal, France, Italy and United Kingdom, were invited to join AMBER consortium because these countries have proved to be those with more exchange of researchers with LAC. They all have experience in collaborative projects with Latin America and mobility of researchers. So the extent of their participation has been planned according to their expertise and interest, taking into account in which areas each one of us can do a better contribution.
We expect to improve the efficiency of the Euraxess network, as it is considered the gateway to attractive research careers in Europe, and with all planned actions, we also expect to: promote attractive employment conditions in Europe, remove obstacles to mobility, foster international cooperation and gender balance, and attract highly skilled researchers to stay in Europe.
The aim of the AMBER project is the implementation of precise and sustainable actions to increase the researchers’ mobility between Latin America and Europe. These actions would improve the intercontinental mobility providing continuity to those researchers who currently develop their activity in Europe, facilitating the return of European investigators avoiding the brain drain, and attracting high-skilled scientists.
To reach this general objective three secondary goals are defined:
(1) To provide access to qualified information, in the "Knowledge triangle" (education, science and Technology and innovation), to LAC researchers, avoiding the current spread information. This activity will benefit the prior stage to the researcher’s arrival.
(2) To minimize the problems caused by the existing administrative barriers (immigration, homologation, idiomatic, recruitment’s procedures, etc.) to expedite the integration of the LAC researcher in the European destination. This activity will benefit the researcher and its family both prior to and during the stay.
(3) To support the Career Development Plan of the researchers in their stay in Europe by means of actions focused on facilitating and assuring the residence of Latin-American researchers improving the conditions of stay and work, by raising the quality of the assistance provided, through the implementation of a Training Plan of the mobility managers on scientific cooperation with Latin America.

Project Results:
Universidad de Zaragoza, as partner and coordinator of AMBER was in charge of WP 1 (Coordination and management) and 5 (Dissemination activities).
WP1 is dedicated to project coordination and management. As previously said, it is led by the University of Zaragoza and must guarantee that all the tasks under each work package are properly implemented, according to the description of work previously agreed with the rest of partners.
This is a day-to-day work to ensure that project objectives are achieved within the expected time and at the expected cost.
Work under this work package covers the following areas: activity coordination, communication within the consortium and with the European Commission, financial and administrative management and quality assurance and risk management.
Most important tasks were included in three main blocks:

- Meetings: kick-off meeting, mid-term meeting and final meeting. All meetings were crucial to start, follow and conclude ongoing work.
Kick-off meeting (January 2013) worked as a starting point for the project where everybody could know who is who, and set the basis and objectives of AMBER. There was also a panel discussion that was a very valuable action because we could know first-hand the problems and barriers LAC researchers dealt with when they embark in the European adventure.
Mid-term meeting (December 2013) was very useful to see how the project is developing. We could check the work each partner is doing and we could also see how to improve things. We discovered our strong points as well as our weaknesses and tasks we should reinforce. With all this in mind we could set a suitable work plan for 2014.
In the final meeting (November 2014), together with the internal meeting of partners we planned to do an info day event related to mobility and especially focused in collaboration with Latin American countries. All partners, the two external experts and a representative of the Spanish BHO attended the meeting. Financial reports of each partner were discussed and the representative of the European Projects Office of Universidad de Zaragoza (project coordinator) made a presentation of the global economic situation of the project and the procedure to close it.
There was also a presentation of AMBER’s outcomes, presentation of the development of the project by work package, final deliverables and work plan on pending tasks.

- Compilation of information: annual reports and database of knowledge.
To contribute to an extended impact of the project, all partners have elaborated a database of knowledge in terms of tasks, contacts, templates for analysis and other documents. After the commission’s approval it will be available for dissemination purposes. This database can be very useful for both partners of the project and also for other Euraxess Services Centres that want to analyse and improve their centres. Euraxess Links Brazil is also a potential beneficiary when talking about contacts, user communities etc…
- Economic issues: economic resources have been used as expected and planned with little deviations on the part of the British Council and Universidad de Zaragoza (***personal)

Work package 5 is the core of AMBER promotion and dissemination strategy. This WP is led by the University of Zaragoza and the objective is to design and implement a successful dissemination of the results of the project.
The dissemination of the project results will play a crucial role for one of the objectives of the project, the reinforcement of relationship between Europe and Latin America.
UNIZAR as leader of the WP coordinated the action, but the whole consortium followed the dissemination strategy and adapted it to their particular situation.
Dissemination strategy was based in three main areas:
- Promotion and dissemination through web and 2.0 technologies: we have created a twitter and Facebook account for AMBER project. Both accounts are linked to AMBER website and updated frequently. This allows us to interact and collaborate with researchers, institutions… and it works as a place where we can meet, read and write.
- Promotion using standard methods: AMBER consortium designed and purchased promotion material to increase the project’s visibility. This material was distributed to all partners and it was given to researchers, stakeholders and media. It was also very used workshops, seminars and events attended.
- Dissemination through the Euraxess network: a dossier with a compilation of success cases was created within the project. The dossier was an example of how Euraxess can help researchers that want to start a research career in Europe.
The dossier was widely distributed in the Euraxess networks (both national and European) as well as to community users, Euraxess Links and AMBER website.
- Mobility event: in month 18 (June) AMBER’s partners attended TOP II training session in Barcelona. Together with the IMPACTE project, we co-organize the workshop “Intercultural dialogue”. AMBER was widely promoted in the workshop, where the attendants showed great interest on the different presentations and actions developed in the project.
At the end of the project we organized a conference dedicated to mobility. The conference was a success in terms of audience, with more than 100 people registered, and in terms of content, with speakers from Euraxess (Kitty Fehringer), Spain (Marie Curie NCP), Brazilian Embassy in the UK, UK Research Office and a round table with foreign researchers living in Spain, France, Italy and UK. The attendants showed a great interest towards the collaboration programmes and the funding calls that were presented in the different sessions. We expect this meeting worked as a dissemination tool of both AMBER project and its objectives, and the different programmes that were presented there.
To end the dissemination strategy, an executive summary will be done in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French and distributed through the Euraxess network as well as to key stakeholders and user communities.

Univeristá degli studi di Torino (UNITO) participated as partner into AMBER project being WP leader of WP2 -Information and Communication activities and contributing to the implementation of WP1 – Coordination and Management, WP4 - Improvement of the Quality of the Assistance - and WP5 - Dissemination Activities. This final report aims at summarizing the support UNITO provided within the consortium according to WP aim and activities.

(UNITO participation ) 1.7. Consortium Meeting
WP Aim To coordinate and manage the project implementation
Deliverable D1.1 Kick off meeting
D1.2 First annual progress reports
D1.3 Follow-up meeting
D1.4 First financial report
D1.5 Final meeting
D1.6 Second annual progress reports
D1.7 Second financial report

As a consortium partner, UNITO took part to all scheduled project meetings. UNITO participated to the kick off meeting at the coordinator’s premises (M1- January 2013, Zaragoza), then attended the mid-term consortium meeting (M12- January 2014, Lille) and the final meeting (M22 –November 2014, Zaragoza). In all meetings, presentations about activities and progress have been shared with consortium partners.

The sharing of implementation issues, methodology and results has contributed to set up a solid network amongst European partners and has made it possible the implementation of AMBER project and the achievement of project objectives.

(UNITO participation) 2.2 Mapping of Research, Innovation and Education programmes
2.3 Welcome Center
2.4 Meetings with the European Commission – Euraxess Links and Euraxess TOP II
2.5 Promotion campaign – Euraxess Jobs
WP Aim To facilitate the access to qualified information in the fields of education, science, technology and innovation, to LAC institutions and researchers, willing to come or already in Europe, avoiding the fragmentation of information they usually meet in relation to these fields
Deliverable D2.2 Map of calls for proposals and R&D funding opportunities
D2.3 PhD Programs’ map in AMBER Countries
D2.4 R&D institutions’ map in the AMBER partner countries
D2.5 Best practice sharing – Welcome Centers
D2.6 Homogeneous AMBER Welcome Centers
D2.7 Minutes reports – meetings in Brussels
D2.8 Promotion campaign of Euraxess Jobs

Task 2.2. Mapping of Research, Innovation and Education programs
The activity of Task 2.2. has been accomplished in M6 and a map of available call for proposals and R&D funding opportunities, PhD programs and public and private institutions working on research has been realized in all AMBER Countries. All partners worked on the realization of the map under the coordination of UNITO, providing the contributions from their own Country. They searched for the existing information about calls for proposals and R&D funding opportunities of their Countries, PhD programs and R&D institutions, analyzing their accessibility and eligibility for LAC researchers. Information has been collected at national, regional and institutional level.
As far as the methodology for collecting information was concerned, partners adopted the template provided by the British Council (partner 5) providing some integrations necessary to accomplish with project objectives and coherent with the consortium purposes. The adopted template for AMBER was based on an excel file, that allowed an organized assembly of information and future updates and an easy transfer to AMBER web site. This file recorded all funding opportunities (Conference/meeting/workshop/seminar attendance, PhD Programme, Visit/exchange, Fellowship, Specific Grants for Women, Award and Prizes) matched according to the different scientific disciplines ( Medical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Natural Sciences, Veterinary Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Physical Science, Mathematical Science, Computer Science Chemistry, Engineering & Technology, Architecture, Building & Planning, Social, Economic & Political sciences, Law, Business & administrative studies, Information and Communication Sciences, Psychology Modern Languages and Cultures, Humanities, Creative arts & design, Education, All)

By collecting data, the consortium provided an overview of the opportunities available to LAC young and senior researchers. Concerning the calls for proposals and R&D funding opportunities at entity, regional and national level (D2.2) the survey recorded 304 funding opportunities open in June 2013 (M6).
The Consortium collected 360 PhD opportunities and almost 579 public and private research organizations working in research and development have been mapped in AMBER partner countries.
The collected data have been used to populate the AMBER website search engine on funding opportunities for LAC researchers.

Task 2.3 Welcome Center
In order to achieve an assistance as homogeneous as possible in the Welcome Centers of AMER partners, UNITO identified as best practice the experience of some already established European Welcome Centre (Euraxess Extranet - Working_meeting_16‐2‐2010_Estonia_Best_practice_example) and shared it within the Consortium as a self-assessment tool in two surveys. The 1st survey (D2.5) was presented in M12 and aimed at highlighting the state of the art, weaknesses and strengths of welcoming centres of each partners. The analysis identified tools and possible services to be developed or implemented in order to standardize the offer of services provided to incoming researchers. The 2nd survey was then designed in M22 to check the improvements occurred during the last year in partner centers and to define a possible short term strategy to reinforce the services provided to incoming researchers.

The 2 surveys highlighted how thanks to Amber project and Euraxess network, partner institutions had the opportunity to share a common concept about the definition of Welcome Centers according to the best practice of Welcome Centers already set up in Europe. In this respect, the contribution of Euraxess has been fundamental to raise the awareness of the importance of providing a coordinated service and has created the conditions to develop a standardized approach. The main issues concerning a Welcome Centre consider: website, location, personnel, offered services. With regard to the consortium partner, it can be said that much work has been done toward providing homogenous services to researchers, but most still needs to be done and it will depend on the strategies that governing bodies of partner institutions will adopt towards internationalization in the next years.

Task 2.4 Meetings with the European Commission and TOP II
As far as the coordination and development of synergies with complementary initiatives to AMBER activity are concerned, UNITO collected info on the meetings (D2.7) attended by the consortium partners with the European Commission (2 meetings),with Euraxess Links (1 meeting ) and TOP II (2 meetings ) projects.

The meetings were attended mainly in the first year of the project (2013). They offered the opportunity to present AMBER initiative and to identify possible synergies with TOP II. In the last year of the project, the attended meetings were an opportunity to reflect upon the potential for transfer the AMBER results after the end of the project.
Task 2.5 Promotion campaign of Euraxess Jobs
During 2014, UNITO team and AMBER partners devoted their efforts for the promotion of Euraxess Job through specific communication channels addressed to or outside their organizations. For what it concerns UNITO, information on Euraxess Jobs was included in the presentations on H2020 delivered within the university departments (3), in seminars targeted to PhD students (3) and during face to face meetings with research groups (20).
Regarding the external communication, in the release of the new website of the University the banner of Euraxess has been maintained.

Euraxess Jobs was integrated in the communication actions (frontal meetings, website) targeted to researchers (D2.8). AMBER promotional activities contributed to make a large dissemination of EURAXESS activities.

(UNITO participation) 4.2 Analysis of mobility trends

4.3 Identification of intercontinental cooperation opportunities
WP Aim to improve and reinforce the quality, effectiveness and coherence of the assistance provided by the mobility managers to achieve a level of excellence in the information provided, through the development of a Training Plan targeted at the mobility managers which, among other actions.
to promote Europe as a research destination to researchers, policymakers and multipliers in LAC, through the dissemination ofinformation about Euraxess in general, and the funding opportunities available in the AMBER countries
Deliverable 4.2 Mobility Analysis Report

4.4 Identification of intercontinental cooperation opportunities.

Task 4.2 Analysis of mobility trends
UNITO participated into this task according to the guidelines of WP leader (UPORTO). UNITO gathered data relating to incoming and outgoing mobility trends towards and from UNITO in the period between 2010 and 2013.

This survey helped AMBER partners to map their mobility trends according to geographical area, scientific research field and gender. This analysis provided an update picture about outgoing and incoming mobility of each AMBER partner.

Task 4.3 Identification of intercontinental cooperation opportunities
UNITO contributed to the filling of SWOT analysis suggested by the WP leader (UPORTO).

The SWOT analysis compiled upon the analysis of the mobility trends was useful for UNITO to reflect upon possible short and long term strategies for increasing internationalization to be developed.

(UNITO participation) 5.2 Promotion and dissemination using standard methods
WP Aim to design and implement a successful dissemination of the results of the project within the framework of the Euraxess Network and beyond
Deliverable D5.2 AMBER promotion material

Task 5.2 Promotion and dissemination using standard methods
During the project duration, UNITO promoted AMBER and EURAXESS activities using traditional communication channels (presentations, seminars, face to face meetings) within its departments and towards its researchers. In order to disseminate the support offered as a welcome centre UNITO developed promotional material for incoming young researchers. Brochures for international researchers were realized and offered to PhDs and post-docs.

Through the AMBER project, UNITO developed standard methods for incoming assistance and improved its competences in promotional campaigns.

Université Lille Nord de France was leading WP3 Reduction of barriers for mobility. The main objective of this WP is to minimize specific problems caused by the existing administrative procedures devoted to mobility in Portugal, France and Spain, the principal destination countries of LAC researchers.
To fulfill this objective, we proceed in two steps. First we analyzed these barriers and then we tried to minimize them by providing the stakeholders with adapted tools.
- Identification of main barriers to mobility: description of the main administrative obstacles at national, local and institutional level
- Design and implementation at “entity level” of specific actions

This section gives a summary of the work done and the most important achievements

Deliverables 3.1: SWOT analysis in administrative procedures (at national and institutional level)
In month 6 of the project, a survey was organized with the support of University of Saragoza. The objective was to collect information from foreign researchers coming to our respective centers. Spanish, Portuguese and French Euraxess Services Centers participated in the survey.
Moreover the analysis had to be done at institutional level to better identify the main administrative obstacles. Each participating partner was asked to fill a table describing the particular Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats relative to the researcher’s mobility issues first at the institutional level, secondly at the national level. The three topics (legal issues, career development issues and social, cultural and personal issues) were agreed accorded to the DoW and scope of the related activities by each partner and reported in the respective tables as common references issues.
The SWOT analysis was delivered in month 10. It served as a very important tool of analysis for our institutions. It helped to push forward in the good direction by enlighting opportunities and weaknesses.

Deliverable 3.2: Manual on Best Practices Mobility
Euraxess Services Center in Aragon and ESC in Lille worked together towards the description of good practices that had been envisioned or already in places in their proper institutions. The chosen areas of intervention were the one spotted by the survey and the SWOT which had enabled to analyze the shortcomings in our organization: Information and visibility/ Legal issues and career development issues/ improvements of services.
On month 12, we provide with a manual of seven good practices. Each measure is described thoroughly, a background is also provided. The potential beneficiaries of the practice and the expected impact are then considered. The manual can be used as a tool offering propositions of action for other ESC’s.

Deliverable 3.3: Manual on immigration procedures
In spite of the Europeanization of procedures, the Visa issue is still a national competence and we observe different practices from one country to another. By taking the example of Spain, Portugal and France, we decided to provide with a short overview of the conditions of admission in a European country, describing the different kind of visa and permit with an emphasis upon the scientific visa and providing with a description of the procedure for family entrance and residency.
The method calls for a simple presentation of steps and requirements enabling to use this document as a first guide for the foreign researcher planning to become mobile.
The UK visa system is also presented with references provided for those interested in learning more about its specificities.

WP1 / Participant number 3: Comue Lille Nord de France
In the context of Work-package 1 dedicated to the management of the project, we participated regularly in the meetings of the consortium.
The Comue Lille Nord de France also organised and welcomed the mid-term meeting in Lille on the 12th of December 2013.

WP2/ Participant number 3: Comue Lille Nord de France
The main objective of WP 2 information and communication activities was to facilitate the access to information from the target audience.
The Comue Lille Nord de France participated in the map of call for proposals and R&D funding opportunities by providing the leading partner with a document comprising full information as regard funding agency, schemes and types of funding accessible to foreign researchers. The same methodology was employed to deploy the information relative to PHD programmes and RD institutions in France.
The ESC of the COMUE answered a survey enabling to compare each partner’s capacity and difficulties as regards welcoming of foreign researchers. Our center stated its specificity as being part of a cluster of different institutions.
In the context of the Promotion campaign, we distributed leaflets during events related to researcher’s mobility organized at the university and sent an email promoting Euraxess services to all the university community as well as informing upon the project on each relevant occasion.

WP4/ Participant number 3: Comue Lille Nord de France
The COMUE was requested by the leading partner to provide with information regarding the mobility to our region. We used a template, giving information about researchers welcome by our centre (country or origin, gender, area of study etc.).
We also provide the leading partner with a SWOT summering our strengths and weaknesses regarding attractivity towards LAC researchers.

WP5/ Participant number 3: Comue Lille Nord de France
For this WP, the COMUE solicited LAC researchers living in the region so that they express their view upon their experiences: personal integration, family issues etc. We then organised the interviews by pair so as to have a success stories dossier covering different fields and institutions of the region.
The Amber Mobility Event was also an occasion given to disseminate upon our project. We gave information upon Amber project at Top II event in June.


The objective of this work package was, in one hand, the quality improvement of the work carried out by mobility managers, in order to achieve a level of excellence in the assistance provided and, in the other hand, to promote Europe as an attractive research destination in Latin American Countries (LAC), creating and encouraging a transcontinental cooperation.

To accomplish these objectives, one of the first tasks of this work package focused on the improvement of information and support provided by mobility managers, through the design of a Training and Promotion Plan that would identify different actions and events where, by participating, mobility managers could improve their skills and knowledge in different matters related mobility of researchers, with special emphasis in Latin America. So far, the existing EURAXESS training sessions have not focused in this region although the increasing strategic importance of LAC in education and research. This has led to the creation of a group of mobility managers assigned for the understanding of LAC research landscape and its researcher’s needs. This could also explain the creation of EURAXESS Link Brazil, in 2013, that could turn out to be a contact point for all LAC region.

Another important point in this work package was the dissemination of information about the EURAXESS network and, in particular, the work developed by the AMBER consortium. The participation, as speakers, in important events, either in LAC or Europe, was crucial for this promotion, through which the AMBER partners presented the project, its website and the tools developed to help researchers overcome their needs or difficulties, such as the Funding Opportunities search tool. This tool was developed and implemented by the AMBER consortium to map all funding opportunities, at Institutional and National Level, for LAC researchers and PhD opportunities for inclusion into the database that was made available in the AMBER website for public use.

The attendance to such events also allowed the contact both with policymakers and with our target public, LAC researchers, who provided important inputs that surely contributed for the understanding of their needs and expectations, allowing us to improve internal procedures and the service offered, in general, to mobile researchers.
The Training and Promotion Plan mapped all AMBER participations and attendances in different events on mobility, either in LAC or in Europe, providing detailed information about all the activities in which AMBER mobility managers participated, describing the content, speakers, promotion made to increase the visibility of AMBER and implications for the project. This information was shared within the consortium through the upload of the document in the AMBER website. Through the analysis of this document we conclude that Amber mobility managers strategically identified and participated in some of the biggest and most relevant events taking place in different Latin American Countries and also in Europe, taking an active role, by making presentations, meeting researchers face to face, as well as representatives of important funding agencies and policymakers. Also being present in a promotional stand in order to promote Europe as a destination for LAC researchers and giving information about the services provided by Euraxess members. In some of the events the participation of Amber partners had the collaboration of the Euraxess Links office, in Brazil. One example of this collaboration took place in FAUBAI, the Annual Conference of the Brazilian Association of International Education, in which the AMBER participation, as speaker, in the Workshop International Networks, together with an EU delegate for Brazil, Rosa Sabatelli and the EURAXESS Link Brazil, Charlotte Grawitz, caused a big impact in the audience, for most of the participants was not aware of the Euraxess initiative and its benefits for the researcher. Most of the participants were representatives of Higher Educations Institutions in Brazil, which allowed wider awareness of Euraxess and greater visibility of AMBER amongst key audience.

During the time of the project many were the events where the AMBER project was highlighted to a number of high level policy makers and researchers giving is the possibility to gain insight into the barriers faced by young researchers in LAC wishing to move to or collaborate with European countries. New contacts were made with LAC researchers and research associations.
Another objective of this work package was the analysis of mobility trends within the consortium institutions. A survey was launched within the partners targeted to mobile researchers in order to identify the profile of the researcher and the scientific areas where mobility is a priority or where it should be promoted. Moreover, it gave a perception of Euraxess among the researchers assisted by the partners.

In the analysis of the responses we considered the mobility flows, between 2010 and 2013, in each Amber partner, focusing in the incoming researcher, especially from Latin American Countries (LAC). The three main aspects to take into account were country or region of origin; gender and area of study of the researcher. These were considered to be the most relevant and manageable data, since all the ESCs should register this information when receiving or sending any researcher.
This analysis intended to be a way to learn and understand the mobility trends between both regions, Europe and LAC. In fact, the results showed some differences between the partners, mostly due to organizational differences and internal procedures in each institution, for instance, the range of action that, in one partner was at national level and in other partners happened to be at a regional or even local.
Concerning the researcher’s region of origin, this was the aspect where these discrepancies were most evident, namely in the total of researchers from each country. For instance, at the institutional level, mobility flows from LAC are somehow balanced, in comparison with other parts of the world. Nevertheless, mobility within Europe still appears as an important part of total mobility flows.
As for institutions working at a regional level, the analysis showed two different realities. One of the partners showed that the biggest number of incoming mobility flow had origins in other parts of the world with a high incidence in North of Africa countries like Algeria, Tunisia.
A third and larger perspective was given at a National level, which followed the same trend of mobility flows from LAC, being the most represented countries Mexico, Brazil and Colombia.
Despite these differences, this analysis identified a common denominator in all participants, that is, incoming flows from LAC represent an important percentage in the total of each institution’s mobility figures, playing a very important role in the international cooperation and being part of the internationalization strategy of the institutions, either due to historical, cultural and academic links, or strategic government policies.

The second aspect of the analysis, area of study, showed an even distribution in the different consortium partners. According to this analysis, the study area of Science, Mathematics and Computing was, in general, the most attractive for visitor researchers, out of the total of all partners, followed by Engineering, Manufacturing and Construction; and Social Sciences, Business and Law.
Concerning the geographical distribution, the trend is the same, with only a minor change with regards to Latin America, from where researchers were most interested in Engineering, Manufacturing and Construction, followed by Sciences, Mathematics and Computing and then Social Sciences, Business and Law. It was also noteworthy an increase in the area of Services and Sports.
Thirdly, the participation by gender, showed that masculine researchers continue to be more willingly or have more opportunities to undertake a mobility period than the female gender. From the geographical viewpoint, specifically from LAC, we concluded that, according to the numbers provided by four of the partners, there is a balance between the Masculine and Feminine numbers of incoming researchers, being the main difference in the number referring to third countries, mainly from countries with social issues and gender segregation. As for the study areas chosen by each gender, the results showed that the higher rate of mobility is concentrated in the areas considered to be typically masculine, such as Science, Mathematics, Computing and Engineering, Manufacturing, Construction, while on the opposite side, Social Sciences, Business and Law is mostly represented by the feminine gender. Nevertheless, all partners declared that the number of feminine researchers undertaking a mobility has been increasing over the last three years, even in areas considered to be typically masculine.
Overall, this analysis showed that within the consortium there was already an on-going cooperation with LAC, either as a result of cultural/academic bonds or through strategic government policies.
The information obtained in this task also provided important input for the identification of intercontinental cooperation opportunities, since it showed strong and weak points of each partner institution in what concerns the mobility with LAC. This contributed for the design of a sustainability plan of the existing cooperation with LAC, in cases where it already exists, as well as provide information for new cooperation opportunities, in the cases where this is still a weakness.

For the first part of this task we organized a swot analysis, to collect information from each partners and compiling all the common the aspects, as well as particular ones from each Partner. The objective of this report was, in one hand, to detect the strengths and weaknesses that may arise from this cooperation, in order to improve and help overcome it.
The results of this analysis showed that all partners look to this cooperation with LAC as an opportunity to expand their Institution´s actions, in what concerns internationalisation, taking part in many new programmes and projects that are now emerging from the LAC side, but also from the European side, in order to increase all kind of mobility (students, researchers, and staff).
As weaknesses felt by the partners it were mostly related to financial issues, either because of the lack of funding or because of the global crisis. This was the aspect considered to be the main responsible for the lack of cooperation with LAC. Just a minor part of the responses mentioned the cultural differences as a disadvantage in comparison with other partners or countries.
Moreover, one common aspect identified as a threat to European countries, is the increasing competition of third countries, such as USA and China that are now looking to Latin America also as potential partners. Finally, the risk of brain drain was pointed as a threat to this cooperation. Moreover, it helped to identify new cooperation opportunities in this region. Each partner conducted a search for information about existing cooperation opportunities with Latin American Countries that could be explored by other institutions and researchers. This information was based on the knowledge and experience gained, by the Amber Partners, through participation in numerous and different international Cooperation projects/programmes in this region.

British Council didn’t lead any of the WP but they contributed as partners, to all WP in different ways:
Participation by Claire McNulty in Kick-off, Mid-term and final consortium meeting.

Deliverables 2.2 and 2.4
UK contribution to Funding Database and PhD opportunities list.
Julie Clayton mapped all UK funding opportunities for LAC researchers (approx. 130 schemes) and PhD opportunities (approx. 200 opportunities) for inclusion into the database.
Deliverable 2.8
Promotion of Euraxess Jobs: item in British Council IHE weekly digest (31st October 2013) on Euraxess jobs (audience of University International offices, pro-vice chancellors for international, etc) Audience approx. 4440. Text as follows:
Opportunity to attract the best researchers from across Europe - Free advertisement of research jobs. If you have a research post that you would like to advertise, consider using the European Commission’s Euraxess Jobs website. This is completely free to use and reaches hundreds of thousands of researchers from across Europe. All research organisations across the EU are being encouraged to use the Euraxess Jobs portal to support the open recruitment of researchers. Find out more here:

Information was also delivered on the UK visas regulations for Deliverable 3.3

WP4 and 5
Dissemination and attendance to events is detailed in next section.
The visits and meetings conducted during the AMBER project have contributed to the development of the British Council’s Newton Fund programme. The Newton Fund is a UK Government initiative, worth £375 million over 5 years, to work with partner governments in key emerging economies, including Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Chile, to support economic development through science and innovation. In the 14/15 Financial Year (April 2014- March 2015) the British Council has run the following schemes for research collaborations in the LAC region:
Researcher Links – Workshops and Travel grants for early career researchers to make links between the UK and Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. We expect to support more than 500 early career researchers to make links through this programme.
Institutional Links – longer term research partnerships between the UK and Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Chile. We expect to support around 15 institutional links with research groups in these countries, focussing on research partnerships which will have a beneficial impact on the social and economic develop of the LAC countries.
PhD Scholarships – Through the Newton Fund, and working with Colciencias, the Colombian national research funding agency, we will support an additional 10 PhD students to come to the UK to complete their studies.

For more information, please visit
As a lot of the travel expenses for Newton Fund scoping visits was covered by the Newton Fund, the costs under the AMBER project were lower than expected.

Task 4.4
Compilation of the report– International Cooperation Opportunities
Jane Sugars, from Vitae, was contracted to compile the short report on International Cooperation Opportunities for research collaboration between the EU and LAC.

Potential Impact:
The overall objective of the AMBER project is to improve efficiency of services and assistance provided by the ESCs of the Euraxess Network by fostering consolidation and expansion of Science, Technology and Innovation in Europe through international exchange and mobility with Latin America countries.

The current level of cooperation between Europe and Latin America in terms of mobility confirms that the reinforcement of transcontinental mobility and cooperation by improving quality, effectiveness and coherence of services provided by the Euraxess Network requires a European approach.

The results of the AMBER project are intended to assure the long-lasting impact “promotion of attractive employment conditions in Europe, removing obstacles to mobility and cross-border cooperation, quality of doctoral training and gender balance, mobility across countries and sectors and attracting a sufficient number of highly skilled LAC countries researchers to stay in Europe”.

For this purpose, the AMBER Work Plan, planned over an implementation period of 24 months, is structured in 5 Work Packages, coherent among them. The desirable impact for each Work Package is described as following:

- WP1: Coordination and Management
It ensures an efficient coordination and management of the project, as well as a smooth communication with the EC.

- WP2: Information and communication activities
The AMBER tool of communication with the greatest impact is its web page, as a primary source of contact with the research community, aiming to spread the content and results of the project as much as possible. Also, the AMBER team is working on building an inter-link between the different related-initiatives funded by the EC, holding meetings in Brussels with the EC-Euraxess Links and the colleagues of the TOP II project, in order to guarantee a suitable platform for discussing issues of researchers´ mobility with Latin America, receiving up-to-date information on the future implementation of the Euraxess Links hub in Latin America, and designing complementary action lines within the different projects funded by the EC.

Additionally, a thorough Mapping of Research, Innovation & Education Programs, a Euraxess jobs promotion campaign and the refinement and exchange of best practices between the AMBER ESCs have been implemented as information and communication tools which, disseminated by WP5, are expected to increasing the overall impact of the AMBER initiative in terms of reaching a wider audience of researchers both at EU and LAC countries.

- WP3. Reduction of barriers to mobility.
As the most strategic WP, it includes three key actions aimed to guarantee the expected intercontinental impact of the project, in terms of making researchers careers in Europe more attractive. This is done by identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in administrative procedures (both at national and institucional level), sharing best practice mobility among the AMBER partners and providing with clear migration procedures for researchers.

- WP4: Improvement of the quality of the assistance. Expert mobility managers.
Activities implemented through WP4 are expected to achieve a level of excellence in the information provided by mobility managers, to analyze mobility trends and to identify intercontinental cooperation opportunities between Europe and LAC countries, based on mobility patterns.
Ultimately, this will enable to multiply the impact of AMBER in Academia and Industry by creating a network of strategic partners.

- WP5 Dissemination Activitities
This WP supports visibility and impact of the outcomes of WP2, WP3 and WP4. Dissemination activities represent a key tool to make the AMBER project and the whole network more visible. It enables a strong brand and visual identity of the project, while maximizing the impact of the actions by spreading more efficiently key messages and recommendations to target groups and keystakeholders.
In order to promote Europe as a destination for researchers and to give information about the services that Euraxess provides, the Amber consortium attended and participated actively in some of the most important events of international mobility, either in LAC and Europe. In many of these events, we had the collaboration of the EURAXESS Links Office in Brazil.
A description of the events in which AMBER mobility managers participated, describing the content, speakers, promotion made and implications for the project, is provided below.

- WORLD SCIENCE FORUM. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 24th – 27th November, 2013.
Claire McNulty gave a presentation as part of a young scientists’ panel, organised by WAYS (World Association of Young Scientists) and IcoRSA (International consortium of Research Staff associations). The presentation focussed on what researchers need in order to be internationally mobile (information, funding, practical support, skills) and the benefits this brings. The presentation talked about Euraxess and AMBER and received good feedback. British Council also supported the attendance of David Finger, representing the UK Research Staff Association, supporting the intercontinental cooperation between EU and LAC researchers. We distributed AMBER materials to the audience of approx. 120 people, including researchers and high level policymakers (e.g. representatives from funding agencies, UNESCO etc; for a full list of participants see here:
In the margins of the conference Claire McNulty conducted informal interviews with representatives of LAC early career researchers. Key points that came through were: Access to information on funding (in Spanish and Portuguese); language training when arrive (or before departure); networking and peer to peer support essential. Lots of associations of researchers – key to disseminating info.
She also wrote a blog for the British Council Voices Blog, which can be accessed here:
The AMBER project was highlighted to a number of high level policy makers and researchers. We also gained insight into the barriers faced by young researchers in LAC wishing to move to or collaborate with European countries. New contacts were made with LAC researchers and research associations (WAYS LAC; ABEP; Chile Global) and these were subsequently invited to other Euraxess/Amber events.
Claire McNulty introduced Charlotte Gravitz (Euraxess Links) to audience and she was able to make new connections as a result.

- FAPESP (major funding agency from Brazil) week in London, September 2013.
Kerry-Anne Hoad gave a speech which included AMBER at the opening event at the Royal Society in London (audience approx. 200) and Claire McNulty distributed AMBER promotional material to FAPESP and other European funders during closed roundtable funding session.
British Council also hosted an evening reception as part of FAPESP week, to which a number of Brazilian and UK research stakeholders were invited. The sucessful grantees under the British Council Researcher Links programme were announced, and this was a good opportunity to promote Brazil-UK research collaboaration.
FAPESP is a key contact for the British Council and other UK research stakeholders. As a result of FAPESP week, the foundations were laid for deeper collaboration between the UK and Brazil via the Newton Fund which launched earlier this year ( )

- British Academy Latin America Panel, London, November 2013
Claire McNulty talked about AMBER during the panel meeting. Collected contacts for dissemination of website.
The British Academy LAC panel will let its contacts know about AMBER and the opportunities for collaboration between the EU and LAC.

- CONFAP delegation, London, October 2013
CONFAP delegation - Delegation of presidents of all state funding agencies from Brazil to UK. Claire McNulty gave speech about BC work (including AMBER) and distributed promotional material. Audience approx. 30.
The CONFAPs represent the state research funding agencies in Brazil. As a result of the closer relationships built with the FAPs, the British Council is now running a joint programme for researcher mobility with them under the Newton Fund.

- Euraxess Roadshow, London March 2014
At the Euraxess Roadshow at QMUL, London, Claire McNulty included AMBER in a presentation to researchers and research managers (audience approx. 30). We also ensured that there was a representative from the Brazilian Embassy at the event (Juliana Bertazzo) and she gave a presentation about the opportunities for researchers to go to Brazil under the Science without Borders programme. Promotional materials were also distributed at the Euraxess bus.
Greater visibility of AMBER and deeper awareness amongst UK researchers of the opportunities available to them for mobility to/from Brazil.

- UKRO conference, Bristol, June 2014
Claire McNulty gave a presentation at the UKRO conference on Euraxess and other BC research projects. Gayane Grot from British Council also attended the event as an exhibitor to promote Euraxess and to network with institutions in a bid to recruit institutions as new Local Contact Points.
Audience, approximately 200 research managers and administrators with a focus on international work.
Wider awareness of Euraxess and AMBER amongst key research audience.

- Newton Fund scoping visit
As part of a scoping visit for the Newton Fund (the UK government’s initiative to support researche collaboration with emerging economies) Claire McNulty visited Colombia and took part in discussions around potential research collaboration projects with key Colombian stakeholders (including Colciencias, Innpulsa, RutaN, and the President’s office). The AMBER project and Euraxess was mentioned as a source of practical information for mobile researchers.
The Newton Fund will be a key mechanism for engaging with Colombia, and this visit enabled in-depth conversations with partners which have resulted in a number of joint initiatives (including researcher Links -workshops and travel grants for researchers) being co-funded by UK and Colombian partners.

- World Social Sciences Fellow Seminar. London, July 2014
Claire McNulty presented on Euraxess to a group of approximately 30 World Social Sciences Fellows (including those from Latin America) at the British Council and AMBER materials were diseminnated.
Wider awareness of Euraxess and AMBER amongst key research audience.

- HUCBMS conference, London September
Claire McNulty presented on Euraxess at the Heads of University Centres for BioMedical Sciences, at University of East London. Euraxess and AMBER materials were distributed.
Wider awareness of Euraxess and AMBER amongst key research audience.

- Meeting with President of CNPq
In November 2014 Claire McNulty had a one to one meeting with the President of CNPq (Professor Glaucius Oliva) to discuss UK-Brazil research collaboration. The ANBER project was mentioned and seen as a useful source of information for researchers. We also discussed the challenges and barriers to cooperation, one of which is finding the right partner in the other country. Solutions to this were proposed, from producing a guide in English to the Brazilina Lattes database of researchers, and a counterpart guide in Portuguses to the UK Gateway to Research, to developing a web forum for partners to make contact.
CNPq is a key partner organisation for the British Council

- FAUBAI Conference- Brazilian Association of International Education, Joinville, April 2014
The AMBER project participated, as speaker, in one Workshop, International Networks, together with an EU delegate for Brazil, Rosa Sabatelli and the EURAXESS Link Brazil, Charlotte Grawitz. Link Brazil presented the EURAXESS network, in general, and promoted Link Brazil´s activities/work. AmBER made a presentation about the project and its goals. We also distributed an information Kit, which included promotional material of the AMBER and EURAXESS network.
The majority of the participants were Brazilian HEI´s and it was possible exchange information with other Institutions and Associations from all over the World (USA, Australia, other LAC, and Europe).

- 6th International Seminar and 7th General Assembly of The Coimbra Group of Brazilian Universities – GCUB, October 2014: The participation of AmbEr focussed on networking and promotion (through material distribution) and the benefits brought from the project and EURAXESS network, taking advantage of the excellent relations between U.Porto and HEIs in Brazil. The audience included high level representatives of HEIs and also policymakers - CAPES or CNPq (BR), CONACYT (MX) - or even the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (represented by the Director of the JSPS San Francisco’s' office). It also included a round-table on “Strategies for the internationalization of research and postgraduate studies”.

- Annual congress of Brazilian researchers in Spain
Presentation of the Amber project for promotion and dissemination purposes.

- EURAXESS CONFERENCE, Dubrovnik, April 2013
Some of the Amber partners attended this network event and participated in the Intercultural Dialogue workshop and Team Building session. This kind of actions allow us to improve professional skills and gain knowledge, in what concerns the contact and communication with researchers from different parts of the world. During this event, the Amber consortium met to draw up an action-plan.

- TOP II Training for ESC, Budapest, June 2013: Teresa Medeiros, participated in the Workshops of Intercultural Dialogue and Negotiation Skills. This provided information and knowledge about different kind of strategies and tools that help to reduce the barriers in international mobility of researchers.

- International Staff Training – Universidad Estatal de Bolívar, Ecuador, Porto, September 2014: Teresa Medeiros participated in a meeting with a representative from Universidad Estatal de Bolívar, who gave a presentation about PROMETEO scholarships for Ecuadorians and other
researchers and staff to take activities in Ecuador. This is an initiative of the Ecuadorian government to reinforce the research and knowledge transfer in specific areas. During this meeting, the Amber partner was able to provide information about the project and its aim towards LAC and also show how EURAXESS could help in the dissemination of this finding opportunity.

- TOP II Training for ESC, Barcelona, 2014: In this session, AMBER took an active role in the co-organization of the workshop “Intercultural Dialogue”. Nuria Izaga, Teresa Medeiros and Adeline Chiron gave a presentation about Intercultural integration of researchers- the AMBER experience. This was an opportunity to present the AMBER project and show some of the results it had already accomplished in different tasks, namely the reduction of barriers to mobility, best practice sharing - Welcome Centers. In the end of the session we had some time for discussion and exchange of ideas with the participants of the workshop. In the margins of the workshops, the AMBER consortium met with representative of EURAXESS Links Brazil, Charlotte Grawitz, to discuss the possibility of prolongation of the work developed by the project, with special concern on the existence and maintenance of website where all the useful information is stored.

- Launch of Euraxess Links Brazil, May 2013: Meeting between Cristina Traid, former member of AMBER team, Anna Karaoglou and Charlotte Grawitz to define actions and possible ways of collaboration between both initiatives.

- Euraxess Spain annual meeting (11/07/2013 and 03/04/2014)
Presentation of the project in the annual meeting of ESC and LCP in Spain fro promotion and dissemination.

- Meeting between AMBER’s project manager and responsible of EURES (European employment services).
Presentation of the project to stakeholders and user communities for promotion and dissemination.

- Meeting between AMBER’s project manager and the director and project managers of IAJ (Instituto aragonés de la juventud).
Presentation of the project to stakeholders and user communities for promotion and dissemination purposes.

- European Jobs Day: Nuria Izaga. Participation in the round table “International mobility”. Presentation of AMBER and Euraxess Jobs

For other types of dissemination actions see TEMPLATE A2 (LIST OF DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES).

List of Websites: