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BRiDGE – Bridge for Researchers in Danger Going to Europe

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BRiDGE (BRiDGE – Bridge for Researchers in Danger Going to Europe)

Reporting period: 2018-04-01 to 2018-12-31

BRiDGE – Bridge for Researchers in Danger Going to Europe enhances the support of 220 refugee researchers (RR) during the 24 project months, with special attention paid to early and late stage post doc researchers and professors of all ages, especially those located in Germany, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey. The case-to-case support focuses on career development advisory services, training, and academic and non-academic mentoring for the RRs. The project transfers the given knowledge and experience to the EURAXESS network, the largest relevant network in Europe.
BRiDGE one: From South East Europe to its heart gives an all-in-one solution for the localized guidance of RRs in the European Research Area (ERA) and enables its 40 EURAXESS country members in the ERA to seize the unique chance they have to identify and utilise the potential of RRs across Europe.
BRiDGE two: From displaced to integrated helps guide the overall 220 RRs in the restarting of their career, and provides instructive and motivating materials to academic and non-academic mentors, mainly in form of a handbook (vlog), including 12 testimonies of RRs.
BRiDGE three: From asylum to research involves and supports 200 academic mentors for RRs, trains 30 of the latter along with 90 RRs to be orientated within the ERA and use the provided resources.
BRiDGE four: From individual cases to systematic policy recommendations promotes the best practices in the EURAXESS network through trainings and activities, and forms a network and pool of experts visible on the EURAXESS Science4Refugees site. BRiDGE also stands for a strengthened quality assurance method.
BRiDGE enables RRs in conclusion to establish relationships with potential colleagues and supervisors, to improve their own situation, skills and experience, and to estimate their professional perspectives, and therefore, tackles the core challenges for integration in a new productive environment and inclusion into the European societies.
The Project targets the challenge to enable RRs who have been granted an asylum related residence permit in a European country to continue their research career path and enter the labour market after the gap caused by their uprooting. This project comes timely, as with the introduction of new asylum and immigration laws in several European countries, such as Germany and Greece, where refugees and their spouses have access to employment with their asylum related residence permits and thus, it is more than urgent to find solutions especially for the sudden rise in the amount of highly skilled unemployed citizens and residents, as the RRs. The situation of the conditional and therefore temporary asylum seekers in Turkey leaves an even bigger question mark, where and how these refugees will have to be integrated. Therefore, all proposed measures for refugee researchers in the involved countries will increase their overall employability and give solutions for the future of the European societies.
The Project has been sucessfull so far
- supporting ca. 100 refugee researchers from Asia, Africa and South America, displaced all over Europe and the Middle East (Finland, Sweden, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Bulgaria, Greece, Holland, Malta, Belgium, Turkey, Lebanon, Croatia).
- involving ca. 70 mentors from all over Europe (Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, France, Sweden, United Kingdom, Croatia)
- involving the EURAXESS Services Network with more than 500 Service centers and EURAXESS Worldwide
- campaigning in more than 20 Networking Events and conferences all over Europe (Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Bulgaria, Austria)
- raising awareness, while featuring in more than 20 press Reports.

First results can be found on the Project Homepage, such as the pool of experts and Training materials. Most refugee researchers have been matched with supportive academic and non-academic Mentors, ca. 50 have been trained already in vivo or in a Webinar.

Significant work has been done for the data protection and ethics of the Project. The new GDPR plus the ambitious transborder Project of case-to-case work on a vulnerable Population has requested much more working time than planned or expected. The results are transferable to other Projects and published on the Project Homepage.
The Project has developed a much larger awareness campaign and impact to policy advisors and press, than expected. This has challenged ressources and shifted the Project´s aim to much more Networking capacity Building and Promotion. All Trainings and activities are full with refugee Researchers being supported by the Project. This has been expected, but not in such wide geographical range, as occured. The Project has reached Refugee Researchers in many countries not included in the consortium, such as Malta, France, Belgium, Sweden, Italy, UK.

In the second half of the Project the Networking will pay off, in Terms of a wider capacity for advising and Integration of refugee Researchers in the EU. It can be expected that the full capacity of the Project (220 refugee Researchers) will be reached, nevertheless, with a different geographical Distribution, as in the proposal.