Austria National Experiences

Published: 08/03/2011 | Modified: 12/12/2014, 10:07 am

Contact details of the institutions hosting the BHOs

 

Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)

Division of European and International Programmes
Sensengasse 1, 1090 Vienna
Phone: +43 57755-4608
Mail: mobility@ffg.at
URL website: www.ffg.at

 

Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD-GmbH)

 

Ebendorferstraße 7, 1010 Vienna
Phone: +43 1 534 08-252
Mail: info@oead.at
URL website: www.ffg.at
URL EURAXESS site: www.euraxess.at

 

 

Bridgehead Organisations

The Republic of Austria has two government-run BHOs.

The FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency) is the national funding institution for applied research. The Division of European and International Programmes represents the Austrian NCP Organisation for FP7.

The OeAD-GmbH (Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research) is the Austrian agency for international mobility and cooperation in education, science and research.

EURAXESS Services Centres

Both BHOs also act as ESCs.

Local Contact Points

There are 34 LoCPs located in research support units and international offices of Austrian universities and universities of applied sciences as well as in regional consultancy and information offices.

Structure of the national network

The Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMWF) is the national coordinator of EURAXESS Austria. The Austrian BHOs/ESCs and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMWF) meet regularly and are in contact on a daily routine basis. These three organisations are in frequent contact with the ECPs through various channels, such as newsletters, emails, promotional activities, etc.

All those involved in the Austrian EURAXESS network—at least 44 people—need to be updated with current developments at the European/national level. Coordination is one of the main tasks in the network.

EURAXESS staff members in Austria spend approximately 5-30 % of their total hours working for EURAXESS. Labour turnover among LoCP staff is high.

 

Full-time equivalent staff Number of persons
BHO: 50 % BHO: 4
ESC: 40 % ESC: 6
LoCP: 200 % LoCP:(persons in charge) 34

Declaration of Commitment (DoC)

Both BHOs/ESCs and 19 of the 34 LoCPs have signed the DoC.

National funding of the EURAXESS Services Network

Austrian BHOs, ESCs and LoCPs do not receive extra funding for EURAXESS activities from the ministries.

Target groups of the Bridgehead Organisations/EURAXESS Services Centres

  • Universities and research organisations (research support units, international offices, HR departments)
  • Austrian Ministry of Science and Research (BMWF) and other ministries
  • Researchers (incoming/outgoing) and their families
  • EURAXESS Services partners at the national level
  • EURAXESS Services partners at the European level
  • Networks at the national level (research promotion working group of the Austrian universities, doktorat.at, Euroguidance, Europass, Eurodesk, Europe direct, EURES, Enterprise Europe Network, etc.)
  • Lobbying organisations (Federation of Austrian Industries-IV, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber–WKO)
  • National funding organisations
  • Institution hosting the BHO (internal)
  • National authorities
  • EC.

Target groups of the Local Contact Points

  • Incoming/outgoing researchers and their families at the institutional level
  • EURAXESS Services partners at the national level.

Relationship and communication between the BHOs, the Steering Group for Human Resources and Mobility for Researchers (SG HRM), the National Contact Points (NCPs) and the Programme Committee

The Austrian member of the SG HRM is the same person as the national EURAXESS coordinator. The BHOs/ESCs and the national EURAXESS coordinator meet on a regular basis, about 4-6 times a year.

The person responsible for EURAXESS at the FFG BHO is also the NCP for the People Programme. Since all national NCPs in Austria work under one roof, there is ample communication and coordinated efforts concerning EURAXESS. The People NCP has a long-standing working relationship with the programme committee member; hence there is well-established, frequent communication between the BHOs/ESCs, the SG HRM, the NCP and the Programme Committee member on a regular basis.

AT_Graphical template Update 2013

1. The use of synergies at regional offices

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:50 pm

The Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD-GmbH) has seven regional OeAD offices that operate as LoCPs in Austrian cities where universities of applied sciences and other universities are located. These offices also act as Erasmus offices.
Selected tasks of these regional OeAD offices/LoCPs/Erasmus offices are:

  • providing accommodation and information for international recipients of scholarships/grants arriving in a specific Austrian city;

  • general information and guidance for international students and researchers at the local level.

Users of these offices are students as well as graduates, scientists and researchers.
All regional OeAD offices use the same template for their Guide for international students; the guide to each city contains specific local information. Only the regional OeAD office in Vienna provides the guide in German and English; all others are only available in German.

2. Local information for researchers

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:50 pm

LoCPs located at universities of applied sciences and other universities support mobile researchers and their families within their institutions. LoCPs based in regional consultancy and information offices as well as regional OeAD offices offer support on a local level. All LoCPs distribute information material about EURAXESS.
In Austria, only those LoCPs that have signed the Declaration of Commitment (DoC) are entitled to participate in training sessions at the European level. All LoCPs are invited to national EURAXESS meetings.
Providing statistics for EURAXESS is the greatest challenge for most of the LoCPs.

3. Sharing experiences at the OeAD Annual Conference

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:49 pm

The Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD-GmbH) organises an annual conference (OeAD-Auslandsbürotagung) for multipliers in higher education.

All LoCPs (staff of international offices and research support units from universities of applied sciences and other universities, regional consultancy and information offices, as well as regional OeAD offices) are invited to join the conference.

At the 2009 OeAD Conference in Linz, one session focused on the assistance of international students and researchers. Participants were invited to submit current problems concerning visa, entry and residency conditions in their daily work in advance. In the session, legal experts from the OeAD discussed the cases they had received and answered specific questions. The session was very interactive, and evaluation of the conference has shown that this service offered by the OeAD/ESC was highly appreciated by participants. In the future, representatives from the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs should be invited.

4. Feedback questionnaire from LoCPs to BHOs/ESCs and the national coordinator

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:49 pm

Regarding interaction with the national EURAXESS network, the BHOs/ESCs and LoCPs were asked by the national coordinator for feedback on the improvement of the Austrian EURAXESS network and the EURAXESS Austria portal.

A feedback questionnaire was designed, including questions about the following:

  • awareness of EURAXESS among the research community

  • information flow and distribution of awareness-raising material, information events and the EURAXESS Austria Newsletter

  • portal layout and improvement of the information provided on the portal.

LoCPs were called and asked the specific questions directly. This procedure allowed a broader discussion of the different topics. The LoCPs’ feedback about their day-to-day work to the ESCs and BHOs as well as to the national EURAXESS coordinator is critical for improving the national network.

5. The use of synergies within an organisation

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:49 pm

The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), Department for European and International Programmes, hosts all the FP7 NCPs under one roof. This allows for cooperation on numerous levels, promoting EURAXESS nationally but also at an international level. Apart from being the one-stop shop for FP7, the FFG also hosts the national Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) office.

The following best practice example on raising awareness of EURAXESS Services in the private sector is just one in a broad range of promotional activities carried out at the FFG.

The EEN Austria office has planned an extensive survey on customer satisfaction aimed at improving its services. EURAXESS will be introduced as an additional service offered and thus advertised at the private-sector level. From our experience, specific and well-planned promotional efforts aimed at specific target groups have proven highly effective in achieving our goals.

6. Considerable growth in vacancies for Austria on EURAXESS Jobs

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:49 pm

On 1 October 2009, an amendment to the 2001 Austrian University Act came into force. Since then, universities have to post research job vacancies internationally, at least throughout the EU. EURAXESS Jobs is mentioned in the legal notes as a possible cost-free tool to post jobs internationally. Since June 2009, 52 additional Austrian organisations registered on EURAXESS Jobs.

Most of the Austrian universities are among the research organisations that are posting their jobs on EURAXESS Jobs. Further promotion of EURAXESS Jobs at universities of applied sciences, other universities, and companies/industry is pursued by the BHOs.

7. Professional Legal Expertise

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:49 pm

The Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD-GmbH) has an expert in its legal department who provides individual guidance and information about regulations for entry to and residence in Austria for international students and researchers, also offering advice and support for higher education and research institutions hosting or employing international students and researchers.

The OeAD’s legal department also provides legal expertise concerning visa and residence issues for researchers and students. The staff does lobbying at the competent ministries and authorities to improve the mobility of students, lecturers and researchers.

Information is passed on to partners through the OeAD website, which in turn is linked to the EURAXESS Austria website. Furthermore, the OeAD was one of the partners developing the Guide to Residence and Employment of Foreign Researchers in Austria, published by the Austrian Ministry of the Interior.

8. Strong networks lead to success

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:49 pm

The Austrian EURAXESS BHOs have an excellent connection to the various relevant partners for EURAXESS on the different levels, both national and European.The BHOs are in contact with the European Commission and the national EURAXESS coordinator as well as the LoCPs.

The Austrian EURAXESS Consortium meetings of the BHOs/ESCs and the national coordinator are held on a regular basis and also include the attendance of a SG HRM member and the People NCP. These meetings of the Consortium are aimed at discussing the issues brought up at the BHO meetings in Brussels, planning ongoing activities, developing new ideas, and coordinating events and awareness-raising activities. Therefore, participation of the SG HRM member and the People NCP is critical for an effective information flow on the policy level and for improving the network.

Networking with the SG HRM member is provided so as to reach the competent authorities; in turn, the SG HRM member regularly informs EURAXESS BHOs and ESCs. One BHO is the portal administrator for EURAXESS Austria. The online information provided by http://www.euraxess.at is checked and updated on a regular basis.

9. The EURAXESS Austria Newsletter

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:49 pm

The Austrian ESCs and LoCPs receive information through the EURAXESS Austria Newsletter, a well-established publication that is distributed on a non-regular basis via email.

The newsletter is sent out to deliver information on the latest developments in the Europe-wide EURAXESS network to the LoCPs and to keep the network members abreast of the latest developments concerning their work in support of mobile researchers and to increase efficiency in advising researchers. The newsletter includes topics such as questionnaires regarding researcher mobility, new researchers’ guides to different countries, new Council conclusions in the field of researcher mobility and new communications, as well as partner searches for Marie Curie calls. Furthermore, the newsletter continues to be useful as a tool to enhance awareness of the network of EURAXESS Austria ESCs. Newsletter subscribers are also informed about current information material on EURAXESS Austria and the European network, and are invited to promote the network at the local level.

10. Clearly defined responsibilities of each EURAXESS Services Centre

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:49 pm

The Austrian ESCs provide free assistance to all Austrian LoCPs, as well as to all mobile researchers and their families seeking advice on issues related to their relocation in a different country.

Each one of the ESCs has its specific tasks related to certain topics:

  • The FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency) acts as a contact point for information regarding taxation and the social security system in Austria.

  • The OeAD-GmbH (Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research) informs about visas, entry and residency permits, work permits, funding opportunities and accommodation in Austria.

Both ESCs are also responsible for up-to-date information concerning the allocated topics on the EURAXESS Austria portal. Staff members from each ESC have been trained on the Content Management System that has been used for the portal and hence are able to make immediate, direct changes on the portal.

Researchers have access to the Help desk on the Austrian EURAXESS portal for enquiries; in addition, specific email addresses (mobility@ffg.at, info@oead.at) are provided. Trained staff members reply via email or phone within two working days of receipt of the query.

11. Scholarships and research grants at a glance

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:49 pm

The Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD-GmbH) is an ESC and the contact point for information on research funding opportunities. The http://www.grants.at site provides an overview of all funding possibilities.

The www.grants.at website is Austria’s most comprehensive database for scholarships and research grants, with information available in German and English. It allows for systematic searches and, in addition to scholarships for students and graduates, it offers:

  • worldwide grants for Austrian researchers;

  • grants for international researchers in Austria;

  • research funding, prizes and practical training courses in Austria and worldwide;

  • national grants and individual grants from universities.

The site also provides information about the application requirements, duration, quota and amount awarded for each grant. The database includes more than 1100 scholarships, research grants, prizes and universities’ individual grants.

The OeAD-GmbH is committed to expanding this database on an ongoing basis and will provide its users with all the latest

information. As a special feature, grants.at allows external partners (grant-awarding institutions, e.g. Austrian Science Fund, FWF; Austrian Academy of Sciences, ÖAW; Austrian-American Educational Commission/Fulbright Commission) to update their entries themselves. Furthermore, research institutions are able to link grants.at to their own websites. In addition to researchers and students, many advisors within research or grant-awarding institutions use the database on a regular basis.

The www.grants.at site is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMWF) and the OeAD-GmbH, and has grown with financial support from the EU in the framework of the Researcher’s Mobility Portal.

1. Using the help desk to update and check the portal

Published: 10/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:42 pm

 

  • Organisation: Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD-GmbH), Austria
  • Topic: Quality control

Visitors of the Austrian EURAXESS Portal can use the help desk to inform us about broken links, outdated information or technical problems.

austria 1

2. Highlight the different EURAXESS initiatives in your national portal

Published: 10/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:41 pm

www.euraxess.at uses four different templates for the central part of its website, one for each of the EURAXESS initiatives:

  • three-coloured circles for general EURAXESS information;

  • yellow circles for EURAXESS Services pages;

  • blue circles for job information;

  • pink circles for EURAXESS Rights information.

This raises national portal visitors’ awareness of the different EURAXESS initiatives.

These are the templates adapted for different menus according to the EURAXESS initiatives:

3. Training in ‘Wording for Websites’

Published: 10/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:41 pm

In preparation for implementing the new homepage, the OeAD offered all editors training in ‘Wording for Websites’, a very useful one-day seminar with some theoretical input and many practical examples of how to write for user-friendly websites. Each participant received a handout with the most important information.

The webmaster and editors of the EURAXESS national portal should always keep in mind that in most cases the portal’s language is not the user’s native language.

Some tips:

  • Use verbs instead of nouns to make your sentences shorter and more direct.

  • Prefer the active voice, as it is shorter, more direct and includes all the agents.

  • Write shorter sentences (10-20 words per sentence, one thought per sentence, one idea per paragraph). Bulleted lists are often useful.

  • Use a reader-centred structure (front-load sentences, involving the reader).

4. The EURAXESS portal team in Austria

Published: 10/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:39 pm

The OeAD-GmbH (BHO and ESC) provides portal administration for the Austrian EURAXESS portal. For www.euraxess.at, a Content Management System (CMS; TYPO3) is used, the same system as for the OeAD Homepage. The same technical company also supports the EURAXESS portal. Links on www.euraxess.at are automatically checked on a regular basis and updated by the portal administrator.

Both ESCs are responsible for up-to-date information concerning the allocated topics on the EURAXESS Austria portal. Staff members from both ESCs have been trained on the CMS that is used for the portal, and therefore they are able to make changes immediately and directly. Only structural changes to the sitemap have to be discussed by the EURAXESS Austria consortium (the portal administrator is a member of the consortium).

1. The use of synergies within an organisation

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:49 pm

The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), Department for European and International Programmes, hosts all the FP7 NCPs under one roof. This allows for cooperation on numerous levels, promoting EURAXESS nationally but also at an international level. Apart from being the one-stop shop for FP7, the FFG also hosts the national Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) office.

The following best practice example on raising awareness of EURAXESS Services in the private sector is just one in a broad range of promotional activities carried out at the FFG.

The EEN Austria office has planned an extensive survey on customer satisfaction aimed at improving its services. EURAXESS will be introduced as an additional service offered and thus advertised at the private-sector level. From our experience, specific and well-planned promotional efforts aimed at specific target groups have proven highly effective in achieving our goals.

2. The EURAXESS Austria Newsletter

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:49 pm

The Austrian ESCs and LoCPs receive information through the EURAXESS Austria Newsletter, a well-established publication that is distributed on a non-regular basis via email.

The newsletter is sent out to deliver information on the latest developments in the Europe-wide EURAXESS network to the LoCPs and to keep the network members abreast of the latest developments concerning their work in support of mobile researchers and to increase efficiency in advising researchers. The newsletter includes topics such as questionnaires regarding researcher mobility, new researchers’ guides to different countries, new Council conclusions in the field of researcher mobility and new communications, as well as partner searches for Marie Curie calls. Furthermore, the newsletter continues to be useful as a tool to enhance awareness of the network of EURAXESS Austria ESCs. Newsletter subscribers are also informed about current information material on EURAXESS Austria and the European network, and are invited to promote the network at the local level.

3. Training in ‘Wording for Websites’

Published: 10/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:41 pm

In preparation for implementing the new homepage, the OeAD offered all editors training in ‘Wording for Websites’, a very useful one-day seminar with some theoretical input and many practical examples of how to write for user-friendly websites. Each participant received a handout with the most important information.

The webmaster and editors of the EURAXESS national portal should always keep in mind that in most cases the portal’s language is not the user’s native language.

Some tips:

  • Use verbs instead of nouns to make your sentences shorter and more direct.

  • Prefer the active voice, as it is shorter, more direct and includes all the agents.

  • Write shorter sentences (10-20 words per sentence, one thought per sentence, one idea per paragraph). Bulleted lists are often useful.

  • Use a reader-centred structure (front-load sentences, involving the reader).

1. Feedback questionnaire from LoCPs to BHOs/ESCs and the national coordinator

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:49 pm

Regarding interaction with the national EURAXESS network, the BHOs/ESCs and LoCPs were asked by the national coordinator for feedback on the improvement of the Austrian EURAXESS network and the EURAXESS Austria portal.

A feedback questionnaire was designed, including questions about the following:

  • awareness of EURAXESS among the research community

  • information flow and distribution of awareness-raising material, information events and the EURAXESS Austria Newsletter

  • portal layout and improvement of the information provided on the portal.

LoCPs were called and asked the specific questions directly. This procedure allowed a broader discussion of the different topics. The LoCPs’ feedback about their day-to-day work to the ESCs and BHOs as well as to the national EURAXESS coordinator is critical for improving the national network.

1. General information

Published: 08/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 3:46 pm

The employer registers the employee for national insurance with the Gebietskrankenkasse.

  • Salary > 376€, 26 euros per month (for 2012), contributions also cover health, pension and unemployment insurance.
  • Salary < 376€, only accident insurance is covered but for an extra monthly contribution of 53,10€ contributions also cover health, pension and unemployment insurance. employment over the past year from the point of application must be demonstrates

 

Pension coverage: Women 60 yrs/men 65 yrs.

Unemployment benefit:

Qualifying period of

  • At least 52 weeks of contribution paying employment over the past 24 months from the point of application must be demonstrated (for persons over 25 upon initial claim), or
  • At least 28 weeks of contribution paying employment over the past year from the point of application must be demonstrated

2. Foreign employee

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 3:48 pm

  • Employees enjoy full social security coverage
  • No difference between fixed and temporary contracts
  • No difference of citizenship

3. Foreign researcher without contract

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 3:51 pm

  • EU/EEA citizens can be covered under General self-insurance with the relevant insurance carrier. In this case the monthly premium is 376.26€ (2012).
  • Can also be self-employed and pay insurance on his/her own. Amount earned exceeds the limit (yearly income of 6.453,36 for 2012) below which insurance is not compulsory.
  • Contributions cover accident, health, pension and unemployment insurance. Below the above mentioned limit, self-employed persons can voluntarily opt for health and accident insurance.
  • For third country nationals, either self-insurance or self-employment are common.

4. Foreign student

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 3:52 pm

  • Students are co-insured with their parents to the age of 27
  • Ph.D. students, who have no employment or the status of a self-employee, can take out a general self -insurance policy or apply for the “Studierendenselbstversicherung”, which covers health insurance only. Vesting period of 6 months
  • Employees register for national insurance with the Gebiets-krankenkasse

5. Comments on benefits

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 4:19 pm

  • Unemployment benefit: EU/EEA citizens must determine the duration of the reference period + must have  been employed in Austria for at least one day + have paid the mandatory unemployment insurance
  • Bilateral agreements with Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, and Serbia determine reference period
  • Pensions for EU/EEA citizens: Employed or self-employed for over one year and have paid pension insurance contributions. Insurance periods below one year will be added to the pension insurance periods obtained in your home country.
  • Third country nationals:
    Bilateral agreements with Australia, Bosnia, Chile, Israel, Canada, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Philippines, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey, USA and Uruguay. The individual agreements vary in content but care for the portability of pension rights.
  • Family benefits such as child benefit, care benefit, maternity benefit etc. are financed by general taxation as a non-contributory state support.

6. Eager to learn more?

Published: 19/12/2014 | Modified: 09/01/2015, 1:55 pm

If you would like more information then download the complete table from here