European Science Foundation: Next Wave Europe

Publiceret Oktober 2002

The European Science Foundation (ESF) acts as a catalyst for the development of science by bringing together leading scientists and funding agencies to debate, plan and implement pan-European scientific and science policy initiatives.

ESF is the European association of 70 major national funding agencies devoted to scientific research in 27 countries.  It represents all scientific disciplines: physical and engineering sciences, life and environmental sciences, medical sciences, humanities and social sciences.  The Foundation assists its Member Organisations in two main ways. It brings scientists together in its EUROCORES (ESF Collaborative Research Programmes), Scientific Forward Looks, Programmes, Networks, Exploratory Workshops and European Research Conferences to work on topics of common concern including Research Infrastructures. It also conducts the joint studies of issues of strategic importance in European science policy.

It maintains close relations with other scientific institutions within and outside Europe.  By its activities, the ESF adds value by cooperation and coordination across national frontiers and endeavours, offers expert scientific advice on strategic issues, and provides the European forum for science.

Where to seek more information for career development in Europe?

Thanks to financial support from the European Science Foundation (ESF), young scientists in 27 European countries will now be able to access Next Wave Europe, a new website offering online career development and information resources for PhD and postdoctoral researchers on the European continent.

Next Wave Europe (http://www.nextwave.org/europe/) will roll out to an entire continent a formula which has already proved popular and successful on a country-by-country basis, with existing homepages tailoring content to the needs of scientists in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Singapore (there are a some Danish entries too).

Next Wave looks at research and non-research careers, on and off the bench, in academia, industry, and elsewhere. It covers issues of scientific training and career development. Role models provide firsthand insight into their daily lives, the skills they've had to develop, and how they landed their jobs. Expert columnists offer advice on finding a job and finishing your Ph.D. And Next Wave's writers and editors bring you the latest news on factors affecting the science job market.

Although many of the concerns of today's early career scientists are surprisingly universal, developing this concept for the whole of Europe presents some particular challenges, says Next Wave's European Editor Kirstie Urquhart. "Because of their different systems and situations, scientists in different countries and regions have their own issues to face," she explains, "and we're anxious to address those. That is why I am keen that Europe's researchers should not merely use Next Wave Europe as an information resource, but should contribute to it as well. I want to hear from scientists about the good, the bad and the ugly of their career adventures, and if they're willing to write about it for us so that others can learn from their experiences, I'll be delighted!"

ESF is in close collaboration with Next Wave on improving this service for the European scientists. Any suggestions are welcome and can be sent to  jdegett@esf.org.

Another parallel initiative is the European Mobility Portal organized by the European Commission. This portal will cover all the official information on study grants and international research positions in European Countries. It will also give the official rules for cross-boarder changes of jobs, pension scheme, tax rules etc, and there will be links to national centers for advice on studies and research positions in Europe. ESF is collaborating with the European Commission on organizing a meeting with representatives from the ESF member organizations for further elaboration of the content of this website. The new EU mobility portal is expected to be available on-line from the middle of 2003.