Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - COFAS (FAS International Postdoc Programme)

Since the start of the COFAS programme FAS (The Swedish Research Council for Working Life and Social Research) has changed its name to Forte (The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare). The new name will be used in this report.

The COFAS programme has been a great success, both in the aspect of making Forte’s programme portfolio more international and attractive, as well as setting a new trend among the Swedish research councils to set up high quality international postdoc programmes. Fortes research strategy for 2009 to 2012 emphasizes the importance of providing career opportunities and favourable working conditions to young aspiring researchers, both at national as well as international level.

The long-term objective of the COFAS programme is to significantly contribute to career development for young aspiring researchers by promoting international research mobility and international collaboration. The programme consists of two types of grants: Forte Outgoing International Postdoc Fellowships (FOIP) and Forte Incoming International Postdoc Fellowships (FIIP). The purpose of the outgoing fellowships (FOIP) is to give researchers in Sweden within Forte's areas of responsibility the possibility to spend up to 24 months at a foreign research institution. The objective is to develop competence and at the same time promote international research mobility and cross-border research collaboration. The fellowship also includes a repatriation period at the home institution of up to 12 months. The purpose of the International incoming fellowships (FIIP) is to give qualified researchers in other countries than Sweden the opportunity to exchange knowledge and competence with the Swedish research society within Forte's research areas of responsibility. The FIIP applicants can apply for up to 24 consecutive months at the Swedish host institution.

There have been a total of six calls and a total of 225 applications of which 32 fellows have been funded. The gender balance is satisfactory. For the outgoing fellows (FOIP) there are as many men as women. For the incoming fellows (FIIP) there is a slight imbalance, 7 men and 5 women. The success rate is equal for both gender, 14 percent.

Results from career advancement due to COFAS:
1 professor (employed at a university in USA)
23 research positions at university

The fellows highlight the following important results directly related to funding from the COFAS programme:

- Supervising and pedagogic training
- Quality stamp and attention
- Increased international networking
- Clear commitment from host institution

New calls will not be opened in this programme. Instead, the programme design has been further developed into COFAS 2.

Links to the programme:

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