Australia’s scientists appreciate research cooperation with Europe

MSCAdvocacy met with stakeholders from Australian universities, the EU Delegation, EURAXESS Australia & New Zealand and the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce to discuss opportunities and challenges for Australian institutions to participate in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), the EU's reference programme for doctoral education and postdoctoral training during a visit to the country in February 2024.
Dan Freeman, Unsplash

Australia’s academic sector highly values the research cooperation with Europe

For the majority of universities interviewed, Europe is the most important research partner in the world and the scientific community hopes for an increased budget for the collaboration with the EU to maintain and increase the cooperation with their European partners.

Universities also clearly see the opportunities offered by the EU’s MSCA research mobility and training scheme. The programme is seen as highly prestigious and a good way to connect with the best researchers in Europe. Sónia Troeira Henriques, a former MSCA Global Postdoctoral Fellow (2009-2012) at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia & University of Lisbon, Portugal and also a previous MSCA RISE fellow (2015-2019) at the University of Queensland, Australia emphasises that her MSCA fellowships shaped her research career, as they gave her the freedom to pursue her research interests, acquire new skills and build an international network.

Australian companies don´t fully exploit the opportunities of the MSCA yet

The MSCA offer a number of great benefits for Australian companies, such as concrete research results, talent exchange and thus interesting opportunities for cooperation with the EU. During MSCAdvocacy´s meeting with the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, it however became clear that industry stakeholders need more support in finding the right contacts in Europe, partners from the academic sector in Australia and information on mobility programmes.

Upcoming opportunities for Australia

Despite Australia not being associated to the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation, Horizon Europe, is open to the world, which means that participants from all over the world can participate.

The MSCA provide fellowships for postdoctoral researchers from Australia to spend up to two years in a European group – or for European researchers to spend up to two years in an Australian laboratory. The call for postdoctoral researchers will open on 10 April 2024 and close on 11 September 2024.

The MSCA also provide opportunities for Australian institutions to participate in Doctoral Networks (next call: 29 May 2024 – 27 November 2024) and Staff Exchange consortia (19 September 2024 – 5 February 2025). Australian institutions are self-funding in Doctoral Networks and Staff Exchange.

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