Euraxess - Best Information Assistance Portal Award Winner 2022

We are delighted to have been awarded the 'Best Information Assistance Portal Award Winner' by The Public Sector Magazine for 2022.

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Researchers, entrepreneurs and universities can contact EURAXESS for personal assistance. The EURAXESS Ireland Centre is part of a European network consisting of more than six hundred centres in forty-two countries that serve mobile researchers. The EURAXESS Ireland website, is filled with practical information for researchers, academics and employers in higher education institutions and companies. The website portal is also linked to the European EURAXESS jobs and funding platform, full of career development opportunities for researchers and entrepreneurs. This allows universities and businesses to find the right talent, projects, and funding.

Currently, EURAXESS Ireland focuses on supporting researchers with their search for careers outside academia, as most PhD holders pursue careers in industry or other sectors. Various European Commission funded projects in which EURAXESS Ireland is engaging help in these endeavours. The popularity and importance of the EURAXESS Ireland office for recruiters and researchers visiting Ireland is apparent - despite a plethora of online-based services supporting those who travel abroad to pursue their careers.

All EURAXESS Ireland services are free of charge. They receive support from the Irish Universities Association, where they are based, which helps to deliver quality work. Their daily cooperation, with essential offices in the universities and strategic departments such DFHERIS or Irish Immigration is key for the effectiveness of their role. It guarantees the best quality help desk for higher education institutions and private and public institutions with research and development.

EURAXESS Ireland manages the Fast-Track Work Permit Scheme for R&D, known as the Hosting Agreement Scheme, on behalf of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. Their system enables approved research active enterprises to recruit highly qualified experts from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) for their R&D departments in Ireland. Since the scheme was introduced in 2007, over forty companies have saved more than €528,000 in work permit fees; 5,700 researchers have been hired and seventy-five companies are accredited so far, with scope to grow this number significantly.

Heading up the team, Dr Magdalena Wislocka says that it is essential to “never leave any query or problem brought forward by researchers or research institutions unanswered. Even if the issue cannot be resolved in full, it has to be acknowledged. EURAXESS believe in collaboration and persistent work culture.”

Customer support is equally important and bearing in mind that the office responds to over 3,000 queries yearly, EURAXESS know direct contact with researchers and research institutions keeps them in tune with their customers’ needs. Most frequently asked questions are usually related to immigration/visa/work permit matters. Therefore, EURAXESS specialise in immigration matters. At the same time, they ensure that researchers can find information on any other practical issues on their website or provide a link to a reliable resource.

“The EURAXESS Ireland website is key to what we do,” Dr Wislocka says. “It helps us better support those who need our services with accurate, reliable and up to date information.”

Fast-Track Work Permits

The number of non-EEA researchers willing to undertake their research in Ireland through the Fast-Track Work Permit Scheme system has been constantly increasing since its introduction in 2007. Even with the challenges caused by COVID-19 over 700 researchers gained employment in Ireland via the scheme in 2021. In addition, the recent development of a web-based processing system for hosting agreement applications has helped modernise the Scheme for the digital age. The new online system, funded by DFHERIS, enables quick and safe processing of hosting agreements for the universities and other research-active accredited institutions online. Support from the IUA, DFHERIS and successful collaboration with the Irish Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) has guaranteed the project’s success.

Looking ahead, Dr Wislocka says that staying in contact with alumni researchers – those who are looking for opportunities and career progress outside academia – is vital. EURAXESS Ireland has developed a LinkedIn platform as part of the European Commission funded project for sharing important resources with an intentional community of researchers, engaging them in an international EURAXESS Mentoring Programme for Researchers Outside Academia (REBECA). EURAXESS Ireland is looking forward to broadening its service, network, and portal into an online one-stop-shop, with improved structure and governance, exploiting links to Europass and the EURES networks of European public employment services, following the recent guidance from the Horizon Europe – Work Programme 2021-2022 of the European Commission.

EURAXESS Ireland wishes to thank the Irish Universities Association and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science for their kind support and funding, as well as the Immigration Service Delivery of the Department of Justice for their valuable collaboration over the past 17 years.

Dr Wislocka’s greatest motivation is to always keep standards up for the people EURAXESS Ireland helps. There is little doubt that high standards and a supreme level of confidence have driven this business to its current level of success and will continue to do so well into the future.

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