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Information Day for Hungarian students and young researchers on career possibilities in the European Research Area

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CARERA (Information Day for Hungarian students and young researchers on career possibilities in the European Research Area)

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

The Hungarian higher education system is renowned for its excellence, both in technical and social sciences. However, many graduates do not find appropriate jobs in the country. Young researchers are often employed in poorly paid temporary positions with a low chance of finding stable employment in a research institution. For them, information and assistance with European opportunities is crucial and can be instrumental in the continuation of their career as a researcher.
The overall objective of the project was to provide students, researchers and other stakeholders in Hungary more information and better knowledge about European job and funding opportunities, thereby facilitating the career choice(s) of/in research.
The specific objectives were:
- to raise awareness and disseminate information about mobility and career in European research
- to enhance career prospects in research
- to promote the EURAXESS
Three Inspiring Science Workshops were hosted by the partners in the first phase of the CARERA project. These events targeted specific sub-groups of students and researchers: female STEM students (NaTE), young researchers in applied science (BZN), students in social sciences and humanities (CEU). An innovative format, Science Café was chosen in order make them more attractive for a young audience. The events took place approximately 6 months before the ERA Mobility and Career Day (ERAMCD), and contributed to the awareness raising activities. At each workshop the audience was informed about the EURAXESS portal and the network, and participants were invited to attend the ERA Mobility and Career Day. Alltogether 61 participants were present at the Inspiring Science Workshops.
In the preparatory phase employers to be invited to the job fair were selected to represent diversity both in a geographical and disciplinary sense (R&D companies offering jobs all over Europe, research centres, higher education institutes, organisations providing funding opportunities). 19 employers have registered to attend on the spot with their own stands and 6 have decided to participate online, by displaying their career opportunities and contact details on the event webpage and in the online brochure. The best available speakers, trainers and event chairs (15 persons from 6 countries) were selected and invited.
The campaign to raise the interest of students and young researchers included information sent out electronically to different networks and a Facebook event. More than 10.000 stakeholders were reached electronically. 900 flyers and 140 posters were placed at university campuses and various events, print advertisements appeared in a popular university newspaper. The event page was created on the Hungarian EURAXESS portal where 178 registrations were received.
The ERAMCD took place at the campus of Central European University in Budapest, on November 16, 2017. The event showcased and promoted European research careers from several angles and provided information on research jobs, researchers’ mobility and funding opportunities.The CEU building offered an appropriate space for the complex event.
The agenda included welcoming words by Michael Ignatieff, CEU Rector and Gábor Zupko, Head of EC Representation in Hungary, then EURAXESS was introduced by Adam Molnar, EURAXESS Hungarian Bridgehead Organisation, BZN followed by a presentation on the Joint Research Centre by Emanuela Bellan, Head of Unit JRC. Workshop 1 „How to fund the start of your research career and what makes a good funding application?” was led by Zsuzsanna Gabor, CEU. At the „Careers in research” panel discussion CEU alumni researchers, MCAA members and EIT representatives took part. The event continued with parallel programs: winners of “SCIndikator” competition gave short presentations and fellowship possibilities with Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions of H2020 were introduced by Nora Jeney, NCP. Career opportunities in applied research at Fraunhofer Gesellschaft were introduced by Nicole Cumia and Edit Székely, Chair of the Hungarian Chapter talked about MCAA. Workshop 2 dealt with „TED-talk your research topic” by Carsten Wendt, Belgium, while Workshop 3 with ”How to include horizontal issues in research?” by Monika Reti, RRI expert. Parallelly, the International Job Fair and the Drop-in CV Clinic were running: 19 organizations offered researchers and students details about their activity, career prospects and careers advisors and HR professionals met appr. 20 researchers for one-on-one consultations.
The activities of the ERAMCD went according to plan. 104 participants visited the reception desk with the aim to participate in one or more sessions. CEU students had the possibility to visit the program without registration. Additional 68 visitors connected online to the presentations, using the live streaming platforms. After the event, chosen outcomes, such as the event photo gallery, a short film and a practical brochure were disseminated through an email and Facebook campaign.
As a result of the project, a significant number of students and young researchers in Hungary, both from the country and from abroad, have learned about European mobility and career opportunities for researchers, including scholarships, grants and research job offers.
Through offering a range of research career choices in Hungary and in Europe as well as hands-on career and mobility advice to prospective researchers, CARERA contributed to providing more researchers for the European Research Area and for Hungary in particular. It also contributed to making the research career more attractive to both students before their entry to the European job market and to researchers already employed in the research sector. CARERA highlighted the importance of mobility, be it geographical or inter-sectoral, for researchers and offered assistance in making these types of mobility available to researchers residing in Hungary.
In the course of the preparatory social media campaign more than 10.000 students and young researchers were reached electronically, via the promotion channels of the event.
Based on direct feedback, the presentations and workshops were evaluated as very good and helpful by the participants, especially the workshops on skills development and the panel discussions with researchers sharing their own experience.
To assess the impact of ERAMCD, an online feedback survey was published targeting the participants. The general impression was good: over 50% of participants have rated the programs very useful. All were satisfied with the quality of programs offered.