As humans, we are creatures of comfort. We seek the familiar. But our efforts to stay comfortable can be to our detriment, particularly when looking to expand a career within the scientific fields. Our career path is often largely of our own making; so, what path will you choose to follow? Europe offers an array of opportunities for those within the scientific community seeking to expand their horizons. Indeed, the benefits of moving a scientific career to Europe cannot be overstated. Consider the following advantages:
- The melting pot of cultures and identities within Europe opens a door to experience a vast array of personalities, beliefs and methods. “If you have seen a little bit of the world, it’s better for you because you know how to deal with different kinds of cultures,” says Federico Sesti, who has served on faculty search committees in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Rutgers University (New Jersey). The proven ability to work harmoniously with international colleagues is a useful commodity in today’s multi-cultural job market.
- Hand-in-hand with this experience is a broadening of technique and method which can be learned by working with scientific professionals from various academic backgrounds. This interchange of ideas can result in knowledge sharing across the board: you gain new skills and methods whilst simultaneously sharing your own experiences and techniques.
- A greater mix of scientists are being drawn to the professional field of Europe by the excellent funding program and accommodating visa package that is open to scientific professionals. The European Union offers funding in the vicinity of £80 billion as part of their 7 year Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. The stated purpose of this package is to encourage “excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling of societal challenges.” In harmony with this stated endeavour is the Scientific Visa Package which is available to professionals seeking to move to Europe in order to carry out scientific research.
- In 2016 Reuters published a list of top publicly funded institutions working in the field of science and technology. The completed report, ‘Top 25 Global Innovators – Government’, named France’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) as the clear front runner. Not surprisingly, the German Fraunhofer Society (Europe’s largest applied research institution employing 24,000 staff) was listed in second place. In fact, of the 25 institutions listed, nine were located in Europe, making this the highest ranked continent overall.
It’s true that a leap into the unknown can seem frightening. But it can also be rewarding, exhilarating and lead us to possibilities previously unknown. Too often we limit ourselves unknowingly by defining job opportunities by their location. So, why not cast the net a little wider and consider the advantages of moving your scientific career to Europe.
- ‘Science’ magazine
- European Commission