Meet an IOF Marie Curie fellow • An IOF/IIF Marie Curie fellowship: what and why? • Benefits for you, your research, your institutions, your community and your family? • Challenges and Recommendations IOF / IIF Marie Curie fellowships • Career development fellowships • Great if you are looking for funding to carry out your research in: A country outside Europe – IOF (international outgoing fellowship) A country in Europe – IIF (international incoming fellowhip) • Aim: gain new skills and expertise while conducting high-level research in a country in/outside Europe RETURN and HOST institutions: Experts in the field and wold-class RETURN host OUTGOING host 24 months 12 months Expert in role of gut microbiota PROJECT: Role of microbiota in mucositis Expert in gut mucositis Benefits for you Big investment – Big return •Gives you the opportunity to travel, meet other cultures •Nice salary and living allowance, but limited budget for research •Widens your competences: scientific skills: new techniques or instruments, etc. complementary skills: proposal preparation to request funding, patent applications, project management, tasks coordination, technical staff supervision, etc organisational skills: organisation of training sessions, dissemination events communication skills: project meeting, journal clubs •Freedom vs Responsibility: you are the manager of your project (under supervision) Benefits for you Big investment – Big return •Meet the top experts in your field and they are happy to have you in their team - you are the link! •More opportunities: – for funding – long term joint collaborations and publications – your network will grow exponentially – not two-fold! •Recognition: people know that MC sponsored research stands for quality, excellence and innovation •A lot of doors open: EXAMPLE Belgian Scientists Event in collaboration with the Belgian Embassy Belgian Scientists Event March 7th Concrete talks to intensify collaboration between Belgium and Australia Benefits for you Big investment – Big return • Personal ‘enrichment’: – getting out of your comfort zone – pushing your boundaries – reinventing yourself/new tactics – breaking routine – improving your language skills – trouble-shooting – decision-making Benefits for your host institutions Small investment – Big return •Not a lot of hosts have had MC fellows before and are very happy to have you in the lab (Recognition AND they get you for free!) •Your host benefits from what you achieve (EXAMPLE) •Exposure: usually mentioned in the uni news •Host shares expertise but at same time you transfer knowledge/techniques/technologies too •Opportunity to form the basis for long term joint collaborations •Shared publications, joint conferences •Also the host’s network will grow exponentially Benefits for the community • Big investment – Big return • EU is committed to spend a lot of money on research and innovation because it is the only way to economic prosperity • EU is committed to solve the biggest challenges of tomorrow: focus on climate change, antibiotics resistance, aging, chronic illnesses • Through my reserach, I am committed to reduce, refine and and replace the number of laboratory animal used for research (EXAMPLE) Benefits for your family • Big investment – Big return • Many challenges! – Travelling/moving usually exhausting – It takes time to settle (new house, not immediately new home!; new school for kids) – New culture in every aspect – New language – Homesickness (thank you Skype!) – Living in another time zone and season (other climat) – New environment – impact on your health – Building a new social network takes time, keeping it alive too • Big return: traveling and living abroad is eye-opening: (takes away prejudices, respect for immigrants in your home country, overcoming the challenges make you a ‘richer’ person, a stronger family) Challenges and recommendations • Take enough time to prepare your application – you want to avoid amendments! (3 months at least) • Make sure you have all the ethical approvals before submission and ask help from your host institution (takes time!) • The online system is very complex and overwhelming • Read the guidelines! (takes time!) • Ask help from your local Research and Development department - get to know them and talk with them, you will need them also during your fellowship • Outgoing phase: aim for a realistic time frame (2 years) Challenges and recommendations • Check your visa conditions! • Once started: get to know your Project Officer (contact and helpline) – EC is a very bureaucratic system • Invest in social events (work-related or not) • Value your family and listen to their complaints/concerns • Enjoy it ... It is truely a unique, lifechanging experience!