Ireland National Experiences

Published: 08/03/2011 | Modified: 08/04/2014, 2:21 pm

Contact details of the institution hosting the BHO

 

Irish Universities Association (IUA)

Address: 48 Merrion Square, Dublin 2
Phone:+35316764948
Mail: mobility@iua.ie
URL website: www.iua.ie
URL national EURAXESS portal: www.euraxess.ie

The national network in Ireland consists of one BHO and seven LoCPs based at the seven universities in Ireland. However, there is also a national voluntary network of over 40 members which are based at the 14 Institutes of Technology, including representatives from a wide range of research-active organisations, industry and their representatives.

Bridgehead Organisation

There is one BHO in Ireland.

The Irish Universities Association (IUA) is the representative body for Ireland’s seven universities and acts as the national BHO for the EURAXESS network in Ireland. The organisation works with and on behalf of the universities to develop strategies and associated actions to advance third and fourth-level education and research.

EURAXESS Services Centres

There are no ESCs in Ireland.

Local Contact Points

There are seven LoCPs in Ireland.

National funding of the EURAXESS Services Network

The Office of Science and Technology (OST) within the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation (DETI and the Irish Universities Association are committed to providing funding to ensure the sustainability of the network in Ireland. As the LoCPs are voluntary and based at the universities to provide services to researchers, they do not receive any funding.

Declaration of Commitment (DoC)

The Declaration of Commitment was signed by the BHO and the seven university-based LoCPs.

Target groups of the Bridgehead Organisation

  • researchers and families
  • EURAXESS Ireland network
  • SG HRM, European Commission
  • Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation
  • Immigration Policy Division
  • government departments and agencies
  • national authorities
  • research organisations
  • funding agencies
  • administrative personnel
  • HR and research managers
  • relevant media contacts

Target groups of the Local Contact Points

  • researchers and families moving to or based in the local institution
  • national and regional immigration departments
  • Irish EURAXESS network colleagues

Structure of the national network

There are two people employed in the EURAXESS Ireland BHO: one full-time employee whose tasks include management of the Hosting Agreement Scheme, and another person on a part-time basis who has several IUA HR commitments. Both participate in EC-funded projects such as EURAXESS TOP, ERAMIND and MOREBRAIN. In addition to the helpdesk and portal, the office manages the Hosting Agreement Scheme that enables fast tracking of non-EU researchers and their families to Ireland.

The informal collaboration and cultural approach in Ireland has been a key factor in attracting and incorporating expertise from the broadest possible mix (from academia, industry and research-active organisations), as well as traditionally non-communicative government departments to the national EURAXESS network of 40 members, including LoCPs. Network training and information workshops are organised every six months or on an ad-hoc basis when the need arises, for instance, due to developments with the Hosting Agreement Scheme.

Network members are regularly encouraged to provide input of organised information in advance of training sessions and to request experts or guest speakers. Members are asked to submit experiences and case studies for inclusion at seminars and workshops.

  • Full-time equivalent staff:
  • Number of persons:
  • BHO: 1.6
  • BHO: 2
  • ESC: n/a
  • ESC: n/a
  • LoCP: Voluntary
  • LoCP: 12 in 7 universities

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

BHO: Irish Universities Association

SG HRM: two delegates from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation and from the Irish Universities Association

NCP: Irish Universities Association

Programme Committee: Irish Universities Association

EURAXESS Ireland and the national portal are seen by the government and the universities as a key part in advancing the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (SSTI 2006-2013).

The BHO is funded by the Office of Science and Technology (OST) within the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation (DETI) and an ongoing dialogue is held between both organisations. Meetings take place informally on a regular basis and annually to define objectives and funding. The EURAXESS office also supports the DETI in EU and national policy development in the area of Researcher Careers and Mobility. The IUA SG HRM delegate is currently charging a European Working Group to develop the broad set of descriptors for researchers. This is being done in the context of the European Research Partnership.

Both the SG HRM and the NCP are based at the IUA, thus ensuring a regular flow of communication with the BHO. The SG HRM oversees the BHO function as part of his activities, ensuring a strong commitment to the EURAXESS function.

Ireland has become significantly more attractive to researchers since the introduction of the Researcher Hosting Agreement Scheme in 2007. Hosting agreements are submitted by the research organisations for processing and validation to the EURAXESS Ireland office who in turn ensures that the immigration authorities are notified about new hosting agreements. This one-stop shop approach ensures that the EURAXESS office is central to the process and eliminates administrative burdens previously experienced by researchers, their families and research organisations. It has also led to a successful collaboration with key governmental and immigration departments not in existence before in Ireland.

EURAXESS Ireland has processed a total of 930 hosting agreements for 26 accredited research institutions. Access to the updated information on all hosting agreement holders is crucial to visa processing personnel and the immigration authorities both in Ireland and abroad. The IUA, with financial support from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation (DETI) launched an electronic database of hosting agreements included in the EURAXESS Ireland portal in August 2008.

This highly secure extranet contains a regularly-updated database of all researchers with hosting agreements and information relating to their dependants who move to Ireland with them. This facility is available to all accredited research organisations, Irish embassies /consular offices abroad and local immigration offices throughout Ireland. The hosting agreement database can be checked by immigration personnel when a visa application is submitted at any Irish embassy or consular office all over the world. This has made a remarkable impact on the processing time for visa applications, an average of up to 2 months before the system was introduced. In addition, the system generates reports on the status of applications, renewals, number of dependants, nationality and so on. Status reports for each organisation are automatically generated and sent to the users via the extranet.

To underline the importance of the scheme within government bodies in Ireland, we offer the following testimonial from the Director of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform:

The involvement of the Irish Universities Association has been critically important in making the researchers system a success. It gives the immigration service a single point of contact for the day-to-day management of the system and the IUA’s detailed understanding of the research environment gives us the confidence that only reputable institutions and researchers can participate.

2. 2. The power of collaboration

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 09/05/2011, 3:32 pm

Ensuring that the Third Country Directive was implemented as smoothly and efficiently as possible was critical for the EURAXESS Ireland office. It was most important to ensure that the large network of experts and members were kept informed of updates and changes that needed to be carried out in their organisations, and this was high on the list of priorities before the implementation of the directive. An inter-departmental approach was adopted to consider implementation issues and facilitate the progression of the scheme. The BHO coordinated involvement of key personnel from the Department of Justice, Equality & Law Reform (D.J.E&LR), the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, and the Department of Education and Science. The office was instrumental in the design of the proposed ‘hosting agreement’. The office worked closely with government and the Third-Country Directive for researchers, which was fully implemented in Ireland on 12 October 2007. Regular network information sessions were organised prior to and during the implementation process to ensure all stakeholders were up to date and aware of the process in place. Key personnel from the immigration and work permit departments participated in the sessions, thus ensuring a highly successful process of communication and information.

3. 3. Bridging the gap

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 09/05/2011, 3:33 pm

A key objective of EURAXESS Ireland was to ensure that the Charter and Code did not conflict with any aspects of national legislation and practice in our universities before it was formally adopted. To that end, a gap analysis of the Charter and Code was carried out via the office with the national funding agencies and with reference to the various national good practice guidelines from funding agencies to the universities’ quality board. The exercise involved mapping the Code and Charter against existing guidelines, practice and legislation in Ireland with key stakeholders. On the basis of the findings of this gap analysis, the IUA concluded that the overall principles of the Charter and Code were consistent with current practice in Ireland. No major conflicts were established, with only some minor points requiring further clarification, mostly with regard to their definition or wording. As a result, the seven University Heads signed up to the Charter on 13 September 2006.

4. 4. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 08/04/2014, 1:55 pm

EURAXESS Ireland coordinated a series of surveys, ‘Experiences of Incoming & Returning Researchers to Ireland’; in order to gain a deeper understanding of the key issues those researchers and their families face when relocating or returning to Ireland. The surveys addressed the broadest range of researchers both in Ireland and abroad—in academia and industry—from PhD to top level. By collating real case studies and experiences of the challenges of moving to a different country, securing funding and dealing with such practicalities, we have obtained excellent statistics and information regarding researcher mobility.

Involving funding agencies such as the Science Foundation Ireland, the IRCSET (Irish Research Council Science, Engineering & Technology) and the IRCHSS (Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences) ensured that the questionnaire was disseminated to a wide range of researchers across various sectors and disciplines. Results of the survey were widely disseminated among the network members and throughout the wide range of research agencies and government departments in Ireland.

As a result, and with the rich data collated in this study, the IUA secured funding as part of the national Strategic Innovation Fund to further develop a more professional and large-scale survey within its Student Feedback System with the UCD Geary Institute. This large-scale and rapid surveying capacity enables responsiveness on the part of the education sector to the dynamics of the 3rd and 4th level environment and helps to establish formal, well-informed international benchmarking processes for the sector. This is a unique global study with commensurate scientific implications, creating real ‘science to policy’ synergies extendable to the broader HE sector. This survey was distributed among the typically non-academic research community both in Ireland and abroad, also capturing data from returning researchers and various research diaspora.

The results of these surveys will be used to inform policy in a wide range of areas related to higher education in Ireland. Ultimately, they will play a major role in improving the standard of living for students and researchers in Irish universities and contribute to the development of university education in Ireland.

Ireland has a large number of people working abroad as researchers. Our aim is to tap into this international network and see how we can draw on their expertise and support to further R&D activities in Ireland. We have a research diaspora in common with Israel, Spain and Ireland, so we are working together through the EU project MOREBRAIN to find better ways to connect to our researchers abroad.

5. Alignment with national policy

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:46 pm

The office concentrates on aligning itself with the national policy of creating a knowledge economy, specifically focusing on reinforcing Ireland’s industrial R&D base. Providing high-quality, effective support for incoming researchers from within and outside Europe is critical to achieve all these objectives of the government’s Smart Economy policy. A key part of this is building the Ideas Economy by creating an ’Innovation Island’. EURAXESS Ireland invests time and resources in encouraging and supporting researcher mobility in the industrial sector. The office provides input and advice to the relevant government agency for the European Partnership for Researchers and the National Action Plan.Much has been done on various government initiatives addressing mobility and visa policies. The EURAXESS office has significantly facilitated a proactive and bottom-up approach to addressing researcher mobility.

6. Reaching out to industry

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:46 pm

Extensive measures have been implemented to proactively foster cooperation between indigenous Irish industry and academia, with the express aims of exchanging expertise and of ensuring that the expertise available to the university sector on mobility is increasingly available to industry and industry bodies. By collaborating with organisations that represent industry, key contacts have been made with a wide range of sectors that have R&D requirements and activities. The office widely promotes the job opportunities advertising facility and the fast-track immigration scheme for non-EU researchers and their families to Ireland as highly relevant services for industry clients. Collaborating with government agencies has also proven highly successful due to the vested interest and involvement by government departments in the EURAXESS Services initiative.The most successful initiative in attracting industry (as well as international and national researchers) to EURAXESS Ireland has been the development of the Research Job Opportunities function on the national portal. In comparison to the low levels of participation at tailor-made workshops for industry, ‘hijacking’ pre-arranged plenary sessions and meetings organised by employer representative agencies has proven highly successful in tapping into this sector. By liaising with industry and reporting cases that were creating obstacles for mobility, the government realised that reducing work permit legislation and waiting periods was an important national objective, thus ensuring that the Hosting Agreement Scheme was also available for research-active organisations in this sector.

7. Transnational collaboration

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:46 pm

Transnational links were forged with other members of EURAXESS, particularly with the Netherlands and Italy, and a strong working relationship exists in sharing know-how and experiences. As a result of collaborative industry participation in EURAXESS, a best practice guidelines document for working with industry—Collection of experiences: Considerations and tips for network members—was produced in November 2006. This collaboration led to the birth of the EC-funded project ERAMIND, with additional participation from Turkey, which involves identifying the needs of mobile researchers in industry and the needs of industrial organisations regarding issues related to the recruitment and hosting of mobile researchers.

8. E-Newsletter

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:46 pm

EURAXESS Ireland’s e-newsletter is delivered to all network members, research agencies, and registered users on the portal and disseminated throughout the university sector on a six-monthly basis.

The emails generated by the portal administration system are available in either HTML or plain text format. Users are free to choose which format of email they receive based on the preferences they enter when they register. The default format for any email generated is plain text, which is fully compatible with all mail servers and end-user client software.

The distribution of the e-newsletter has led to a considerable increase in registered users on the portal and is a key communication tool for the network.

9. The importance of data collection

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:46 pm

All queries and requests for assistance and information are gathered in a database at the BHO. This information allows for a basic analysis of the type of difficulties researchers are experiencing, highlighting the barriers to mobility, and enables the collation of ‘real time’ data. Reports of the general issues are drawn up and circulated to the key departments in the Irish government (such as the Department of Enterprise Trade and Innovation and the Department of Justice), raising awareness of mobility issues and the difficulties they can entail. Family reunification/entry visas, long-term residency and work permits are the most common issues.Much of the data have been cross-referenced in advising the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform on topics such as the need for additional resources and support in visa processing and in the preparation of national reforms (e.g. immigration policy, work permits for spouses and the implementation of the Third Country Directive). Case studies from the EURAXESS office have been referred to in drawing up national policy and legislation.

10. Assessing user satisfaction

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:45 pm

An online survey is disseminated to all network members and users who contact the office seeking assistance. The purpose of the evaluation form is to measure the effectiveness of the helpdesk service and the online portal, which is the key information instrument of the Irish EURAXESS network. Analysis of the collated data is carried out in order to develop a plan for improving the quality of service and as a reference for future staff training needs and information sessions to be delivered by the EURAXESS Ireland network.

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Sorry, but the requested resource was not found on this site.

1. E-Newsletter

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:46 pm

EURAXESS Ireland’s e-newsletter is delivered to all network members, research agencies, and registered users on the portal and disseminated throughout the university sector on a six-monthly basis.

The emails generated by the portal administration system are available in either HTML or plain text format. Users are free to choose which format of email they receive based on the preferences they enter when they register. The default format for any email generated is plain text, which is fully compatible with all mail servers and end-user client software.

The distribution of the e-newsletter has led to a considerable increase in registered users on the portal and is a key communication tool for the network.

1. 4. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 08/04/2014, 1:55 pm

EURAXESS Ireland coordinated a series of surveys, ‘Experiences of Incoming & Returning Researchers to Ireland’; in order to gain a deeper understanding of the key issues those researchers and their families face when relocating or returning to Ireland. The surveys addressed the broadest range of researchers both in Ireland and abroad—in academia and industry—from PhD to top level. By collating real case studies and experiences of the challenges of moving to a different country, securing funding and dealing with such practicalities, we have obtained excellent statistics and information regarding researcher mobility.

Involving funding agencies such as the Science Foundation Ireland, the IRCSET (Irish Research Council Science, Engineering & Technology) and the IRCHSS (Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences) ensured that the questionnaire was disseminated to a wide range of researchers across various sectors and disciplines. Results of the survey were widely disseminated among the network members and throughout the wide range of research agencies and government departments in Ireland.

As a result, and with the rich data collated in this study, the IUA secured funding as part of the national Strategic Innovation Fund to further develop a more professional and large-scale survey within its Student Feedback System with the UCD Geary Institute. This large-scale and rapid surveying capacity enables responsiveness on the part of the education sector to the dynamics of the 3rd and 4th level environment and helps to establish formal, well-informed international benchmarking processes for the sector. This is a unique global study with commensurate scientific implications, creating real ‘science to policy’ synergies extendable to the broader HE sector. This survey was distributed among the typically non-academic research community both in Ireland and abroad, also capturing data from returning researchers and various research diaspora.

The results of these surveys will be used to inform policy in a wide range of areas related to higher education in Ireland. Ultimately, they will play a major role in improving the standard of living for students and researchers in Irish universities and contribute to the development of university education in Ireland.

Ireland has a large number of people working abroad as researchers. Our aim is to tap into this international network and see how we can draw on their expertise and support to further R&D activities in Ireland. We have a research diaspora in common with Israel, Spain and Ireland, so we are working together through the EU project MOREBRAIN to find better ways to connect to our researchers abroad.

2. Assessing user satisfaction

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:45 pm

An online survey is disseminated to all network members and users who contact the office seeking assistance. The purpose of the evaluation form is to measure the effectiveness of the helpdesk service and the online portal, which is the key information instrument of the Irish EURAXESS network. Analysis of the collated data is carried out in order to develop a plan for improving the quality of service and as a reference for future staff training needs and information sessions to be delivered by the EURAXESS Ireland network.

Not Found

Sorry, but the requested resource was not found on this site.