Researcher’s mobility and international cooperation in the field of science and research is an important phenomenon for the development of the scientific potential within the European Research Area (ERA). Therefore short term as well as long term mobility experience for young and experienced researchers is supported not only by grants but also by free of charge services and consultancy centres. They can help in finding the right financial sources for researcher’s stays abroad. On the other hand these centres can provide practical information and tailor made assistance for researchers and their family members settling for a longer period in a new country.
One of the most important European initiatives providing complex services to mobile researchers is a European Network of Services Centres – EURAXESS. It is a network of more than 200 centres located in 36 European countries. EURAXESS Services can assist mobile researchers and their family in every step of their move, starting in their home country and continuing until they have settled in a new one. Apart from practical information and personalized service, this network is also in charge of the EURAXESS Jobs Portal where research organizations can post their job vacancies and on the other hand, researchers can upload their CVs and look for job opportunities in many research fields.
EURAXESS Czech Republic consists of two Services Centres (Prague and Brno) and seven Local Contact Points offering practical information to PhD students and incoming/outgoing researchers at regional universities. The most frequently asked questions refer to entry conditions (visa, long term permits, registration, etc.), health insurance and social security, accommodation, funding opportunities, taxation and language courses. More information about EURAXESS Czech Republic is available on the national portal www.euraxess.cz.
Concerning the financial sources available for mobile researchers especially for short term stays abroad, there are specific regional contact centers in the Czech Republic offering consultancy on this matter. These centers give free of charge assistance in finding the right financial scheme and lead through the steps when applying for a particular grant. This assistance to researchers is offered by a network of Regional Contact Organizations supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. More information about this network can found at www.ninet.cz.
These two networks – national network of the Regional Contact Organizations and the EURAXESS Services Network – have come up with a joint initiative called “Mobility month – researchers in motion” taking place in November 2010, in order to present the possibilities for researchers to start a “mobile” career and introduce the services aimed at supporting mobile researchers in many ways. Thus in eleven regions of the Czech Republic, the professional public will have a chance not only to learn about mobility support for Czech researchers but also how and where to find qualified scientists from abroad. This could be as well a step toward making the Czech research area more attractive to foreign researchers.