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Cross-border research

MAASTRICHT. UM is to be a ‘Euraxess service point’. Excuse me? It will hardly ring a bell with many, although there are already more than 250 of these service points in forty countries. It is a ‘desk’ – for the Netherlands only in Tilburg, for the time being – that provides information about working abroad. Euraxess is an EU initiative to help increase the mobility of researchers. The idea is that if people work abroad for a time, they gain valuable experience, broaden their horizon and expand their network.

Next week, on Tuesday 15 April, the UM is hosting a symposium on mobility among researchers. They will receive tips on how to build up a network in Brussels, but also how to write an application for a research grant. Speaker Peter van der Hijden, former EU civil servant, mentions but a few: “Write briefly and clearly; think of the poor assessors who have to read all those applications. And explain the 'how' of what you propose with an example or two.”

On the same day, a promotion team from Brussels on their European ‘tour’ will visit Maastricht (the only city in the Netherlands where they will stop). This will take place in a bus stationed at Randwijck (between UNS 40 and 50). Researchers can have a professional photograph taken and receive CV advice.

The allocation of the service point is a confirmation of what the UM was already doing, says Véronique Eurlings, manager of the Knowledge Centre for International Staff (KCIS). “We try to make matters as easy as possible for foreign researchers when they want to work in Maastricht. We help them with their visas, with permits, housing, you name it.”

More than 3,800 employees worked at the UM in 2013, approximately 2,100 of whom had a research position. Last year this group consisted of 1,300 Dutch citizens; 166 Belgians, 230 Germans, 214 from other EU countries and 166 from countries outside the EU. In 2013 a total of 377 foreign researchers came to Maastricht.

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