Taking care of both your physical and mental health are two important elements to succeed in your career as an early-stage researcher.
Depending on how long you are planning to stay in another country, different rules apply. Usually, for short assignments (less than 2 years) you can stay insured in your home country, but it is always preferable to check the country-specific obligations to select health insurance when staying abroad. For non-EU/EEA countries, health insurance is closely linked to your nationality and visa application.
You should also be aware of your well-being as many PhD candidates are likely to feel depressed and isolated in their work environment. The topic of mental health is nowadays more preeminent within academia and universities are trying to offer healthy working conditions and targeted training.
If you feel your university could do more, you can read the recommendations from the Eurodoc Network linked below and join the PhD peer-to-peer support platform.
Finding the right place to study/research as an early-stage researcher is not an easy task and may imply that you find accommodation in your home/host country.
Whether it is for a long or short stay, you can turn on the public or private market to find suitable accommodation. In the first place, we recommend you contact your home/host university and ask about the accommodation options they offer to their (international) students.
If you cannot find suitable options, we have listed below several websites, tailored to the needs of students and short-term renters, that can help you find your gem. Get in touch with your fellow researchers or look on social media platforms such as Facebook that have usually specific housing groups in most European cities.
Housing platforms for students & young professionals
Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) and Open Science are two critical topics to consider when conducting research in both academic and industrial contexts.
As an early-stage researcher, understanding and complying with the intellectual property policies can help you register and protect your work. Don’t hesitate to ask about IPRs to your supervisor(s) and mentors in the early stages of your research work.
If you believe Science should be made more accessible, then you understand the principle of Open science - aiming at creating and disseminating knowledge in a more transparent, open, digital and collaborative way. Open Science can also help to give more visibility and improve the transferability of your research outputs.
Are you wondering what are the available funding opportunities in Europe for you to conduct research abroad? The DocMob project consortium and Eurodoc have collected data from across Europe and we summarised it for you. You can access the database down below!
Aside from those, you can consider, as an early-stage researcher, different EU-funded programmes and opportunities to conduct research. For example, you can apply for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship and regularly check the European Commission Horizon 2020 funding and tender opportunities.
Whether you intend to work within or outside academia, you should consider developing your transferable and transversal skills. Those can boost your chances to find a job in the future.
Many European universities are offering doctoral training and tend to integrate transferable skills intelligence into PhD programmes. You can check what is the available offer in PhD training at your institution and read the Eurodoc key documents on Doctoral training.
If you’d like to go beyond and improve your employability and skills even further, you can find online open education resources. The DocEnhance project, for instance, aims at developing this offer and guide universities to integrate it to PhD curricula. Soon on the PhD Hub platform, you’ll be able to access training offers, based on the outcomes of the DocEnhance project!
Quite often scientific breakthroughs happen at the edge of academic domains. Working with your peers from various disciplines and/or with the non-academic sector can give a boost to your research and ensure that your outputs can be transferred to industry and/or society.
If you are wondering how international, interdisciplinary, intersectoral research can be achieved, you can have a look at the two guidebooks we have published. They will guide you through the critical points and give you recommendations.
You can as well get in touch with your peers and practitioners from all over Europe, by using the PhD Hub feature “Find Members”.
Ethics and integrity are the two pillars of research excellence. You are aware of the general ethical principles and standards of research integrity but it is furthermore important, as an early-stage researcher, to understand and abide by the regulations at both European and national levels.
The European Commission published the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity which proposed guidelines and good practices to avoid misconduct and other ethical challenges. Check it out!
If you are considering pursuing a PhD in Europe from a non- EU/EEA country, you must take into account applying for a Visa. What you should know is that regulations on how and where to apply vary from country to country, but you can always ask the host country embassy in your own country for further details.
You can as well find more country-specific information on student visas on the European Commission website or EURAXESS national portals, linked below.
In general, applying for a visa is a long and sometimes expensive process but it is an essential requirement to enter Europe and all the educational opportunities it offers. You have the cards in your hands!
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