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EURAXESS España Career Day

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EUESCADA (EURAXESS España Career Day)

Reporting period: 2017-03-01 to 2018-02-28

A key priority for implementation of the European Research Area (ERA) is establishing a real open labour market for researchers, which ensures the generation of knowledge and boosts competence and collaboration between and among institutions and business organizations. The recruitment of researchers and highly skilled staff in the public and private sector is the key of innovation, and thus, the basis for progress and welfare in any society.

EURAXESS - Researchers in Motion is a unique pan-European initiative providing access to a complete range of information and support services to researchers wishing to pursue their research careers in Europe, or stay connected to it, working directly for the implementation of ERA.

In the case of Spain, the Spanish Strategy of Science, Technology and Innovation 2013-2020 already identified the need to improve several structural issues of the Spanish R&D&I system such as a relatively low level of international mobility of the research staff, the existence of barriers for international and intersectoral mobility, and a relatively low capacity of attracting international research talent of the Spanish public research and higher education institutions.

The aim of this project has been to organize several career days for researchers across Spain under the umbrella of EURAXESS addressing the following key issues:
• Promotion of research jobs, innovation and economic growth
• European, national and regional funding opportunities
• Career path for researchers in Europe: options in academia and beyond.
• Transferable skills for researchers to reach a broader professional development
• Roles, opportunities and professional development for women in science
• Intersectoral mobility.
• Further implementation of the C&C and HRS4R strategy in Spain
• EURAXESS’ best chances to provide professional development support for researchers in Spain.
• Collecting baseline information which would allow for a future pilot career tracking study of researchers in Spain.
"The EUESCADA project coordinated by FECYT -the EURAXESS Spain national coordinator- has allowed for the organization of five events, each of them implemented by other members of the EURAXESS Spain national networks:
• Universidad de Castilla la Mancha (UCLM) organized the ERA Career Day for the region of Castilla la Mancha in the city of Toledo, on the 23-24 May 2017.
• Bizxkaia Talent (BTALENT) organized the ERA Career Day for the region of the Basque Country in the city of Bilbao together with the Science+ Conference on the 18-20 of September 2017.
• Universidad de Granada (UG) and Agencia Andaluza del Conocimiento (AAC) organized the ERA Career Day for the region of Andalusia in the city of Granada on the 28-29 of September 2017.
• Universidad de Zaragaza (UZ) organized the ERA Career Day for the region of Aragón in the city of Zaragoza on the 23-24 of November 2017.
• Universidad de Camntabria (UC) organized the ERA Career Day of Cantabria in the city of Santander on the 6-8 of February 2018.

All five career days had local/regional focus in terms of participants and contributors, but nevertheless addressed common issues relevant for the future of the Spanish R&D&I system:
1. Promoting research career, in the academia and beyond
2. Giving visibility to the existing European, national and regional funding opportunities
3. Fostering the uptake of professional development initiatives by both, researchers themselves and institutions
4. Promoting EURAXESS as a key tool to overcome mobility barriers and support researcher career development

Promotion and dissemination of the five ERA Career Days was mainly done using online tools, including the EURAXESS Spain portal, the institutional websites of the hosting institutions and collaborators and social media (mainly twitter with the common hashtag #ERAcareerday."
EUESCADA expected to reach around 850 people in total through the 5 ERA Career Days planned. Altogether, 1296 people registered in total for the events, although the final number of confirmed participants was 960, including a researchers, students, professionals and unemployed. Streaming options allowed for virtual presence in all events.

From all the confirmed participants, 538 provided some input through the survey prepared to collect feedback on the career days, as well as baseline information on career status and career expectations which could be used as the basis of a career tracking study. In terms of impact, this was the key feedback collected:
• Respondents rated with a 3,9 their satisfaction degree with the career days they attended (in a 1-5 scale from less to more).
• 94,3% of respondents would recommend a similar event to their peers.
• Participants ranked with a 3,6 (in a 1-5 scale from less to more) their willingness to have geographical or sectoral mobility after their participation in the ERA career day.
• Participants ranked with a 4,0 (in a 1-5 scale from less to more) their willingness to use EURAXESS Jobs next time they would be seeking for a scientific job.

Based on the participation and reception of the events, the project is considered a great success which has boosted the visibility of EURAXESS in Spain and is expected to foster the celebration of similar events for the benefit of researcher careers in the near future.