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Career Advancement for Refugee Researchers in Europe

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CARe (Career Advancement for Refugee Researchers in Europe)

Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2020-12-31

The CARe project (Career Advancement for Refugee Researchers in Europe) was a 24-month Horizon 2020 funded project. Its aim was to support the labour market integration of researchers with refugee background through coordinated & tailored provision of information needed for their entry & integration in R&D market. CARe focused on 10 European countries, selected on several relevant criteria - Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland & The Netherlands.
CARe provided a multi-level & multi-stakeholder approach to ensure needs-based guidance & provision of relevant information on the employment requirements & opportunities in the residence countries of the TG, & by ensuring coordinated dissemination of project results to the stakeholder networks in the project & the wider community in Europe. Specifically, CARe aimed to
1. Provide country-specific & needs-based information on employment opportunities for refugee reserchers across different market sectors in the 10 selected countries.
2. Ensure targeted dissemination of relevant & up to date information to the TG on available employment opportunities in Europe & the country of their residence.
3. Provide a one-stop shop for relevant information & ensure the visibility of the information sources through dissemination via the main information & support networks (EURAXESS, SAR).
4. Contribute to the EURAXESS initiative/work in supporting refugee researchers in a coordinated & consistent manner across the European countries (involved in the project) as an incentive/pilot for other countries.
5. Link refugee researchers with employers in respective countries (match making).
The main objectives of the project were achieved through a set of research & dissemination activities which, which provided country-specific information on the labour market conditions & requirements based on the real needs of the main target group (TG), & which enabled Europe-wide platforms for result dissemination & exploitation on a much larger scale. Through comprehensive stakeholder mapping, data collection via focus groups & employment surveys, consultation with EURAXESS centres, Scholars at Risk sections & the TG, the project resulted in creating a comprehensive view on the labour market condition in the 10 target countries for reseachers with refugee background. Also, it delivered relevant information for the TG via country guides (encompassing all relevant information collected during the project). Based on the findings on the needs of the TG & the current labour market conditions, the project formulated recommendations for further action in this field. The main deliverables will be uploaded on the EURAXESS platform for further dissemination & exploitation.
CARe has ensured coordinated support in refugee integration & further benefits for the research landscape in the specific countries, with strong potential to multiply the practice on a wider scale.
It was one of the first comprehensive attempts to gather relevant information on this TG & from multiple stakeholders. It contributed to further promotion & raising the visibility of already existing European support networks, e.g. EURAXESS & SAR.
Currently, the higher education sector in Europe providing support for this TG, would benefit by increased resources at European level and from the involvement of the private sector in the support schemes.

Conclusions of the project: Comparative perspectives, gaps & the way forward

Both researchers & employers point to the high relevance of the (level & type) of financial support available for researchers with this specific profile. Two-thirds of employers who have hired researchers did so through an intermediary body, support programme or network that provides funding schemes for the TG.
Some of the remaining challenges for both researchers & employers are:
• the short duration of this kind of support (1-3 years), often too short establish oneself in a field & find permanent employment.
• challenge (larger for the researchers) is the label that qualifies them for support via special programmes – “refugee” comes before “researcher”, which they feel undermines their achievement & works to their disadvantage. Employers, though, see such ‘labels’ helpful, as they can provide necessary support outside the “regular” pool of competition, which is admittedly fierce & disadvantageous to the TG.
The relevance of intermediary bodies is reflected in the need for guidance & provision of tailored information, both for researchers & employers.
There is a recognised need for language training in the host-country, working culture & job-specific jargon, by both researchers & employers.
There are examples of good practice that could serve as an inspiration, & some existing platforms for information sharing & cooperation that could be further promoted & enhanced to meet the needs of both employers & researchers, e.g. EURAXESS.
1) The consortium developed a database of relevant stakeholder representatives – European & national-level support structures for data collection, validation, & information sharing on the research landscape in the target countries.
2) Three reports (focus groups, employer survey, & comparative report) provided an informed insight into the state of play on the employment situation for this TG & served for advocacy towards national & international structures involved in supporting the TG.
3) 10 Country Guides serve as a central one-stop repository of relevant information for the TG. High interest in this information was visible on social media & events.
4) 10 Country-specific & one EU-level Online Talk proved to be a well-suited format for discussing the situation on employment of the TG in different national contexts & EU level & attracted vast interest on YouTube & high live attendance.
The CARe project has ensured:
• targeted & needs-based impact by bringing together stakeholders at different levels & from different sectors, & by collecting & disseminating key information for successful market integration of researchers with a refugee background.
• a coordinated multi-stakeholder approach across 10 European countries, with multiplication potential & created a valuable body of knowledge on employment needs, requirements & challenges in these countries through its research activities, widely disseminated through the project network, & EURAXESS.
• relevance & timeliness in the context of EU policy priorities & complementarity with actions foreseen at European level.
• support for the integration of the TG by providing concrete information & networking opportunities with the main actors relevant in the field – employers, information & support structures & national-level bodies which implement or support refugee integration programmes.
• facilitated the discussion on national & EU-level contributing to the improvement of labour market conditions for the TG by mapping the labour market conditions in the 10 target countries as well as collecting & identifying the needs of the focus group participants.
• strengthened the EURAXESS initiative at all stages of the project by raising its visibility, providing feedback from the TG & including relevant links to its national sections in CARe’s country guides.
The outcomes of the project are used in a number of support initiatives currently being developed at national & international level.
CARe logo
CARe County Guide
CARe Flyer