Italy National Experiences

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

Contact details of the institution hosting the BHO

 

Fondazione CRUI per le Università italiane (CRUI Foundation for Italian Universities)

Piazza Rondanini 48, 00186 Rome
Phone: +39 06 68 44 11
Mail: Segreteria@fondazionecrui.it
URL website: www.fondazionecrui.it
URL national EURAXESS portal: www.euraxess.it

Bridgehead Organisation

The BHO is hosted by the CRUI Foundation for Italian Universities, the Foundation of the Italian Rector´s Conference which deals with projects and initiatives that are primarily addressed to the university system; it also has an important role as a coordinator. A large part of the network is made up of universities (11), seven of which act as LoCPs.

EURAXESS Services Centres

There are seven ESCs, located at AREA Science Park (a consortium grouping different R&D institutions as well as private companies in the area of Trieste), at APRE (a private organisation that has been endorsed by the Ministry for Education, University and Research to perform the task of NCP for the FP7), at the International Relations Unit of the National Research Council (CNR) and at the Universities of Camerino, Siena, Turin and Udine.

The full list is available at www.euraxess.it/services/types.php?pag=centres

Local Contact Points

The EURAXESS LoCPs in Italy are all hosted by universities. They have all signed the Declaration of Commitment. The seven LoCPs are located in the Universities of Bologna, Calabria, Catania, Milano, Padova, Pisa and Verona.

Structure of the national network

The structure and complexity of the research system in Italy, with a high number of institutions (just to give an example, there are more than 90 universities), have influenced the structure of the network from the beginning. When the first project began in 2004, no structured information was available for foreign researchers and the organisations in the network did not communicate with each other on the main topics.

The BHO chose an inclusive philosophy, focusing on a different approach to researcher mobility, and taking into account the different competences and profiles of the institutions in the national research arena. This approach is in fact more complex for management at a national level, requiring a strong capacity to balance the activities and missions of participating organisations, as well as the ability to stimulate fruitful relationships. It calls for managing different situations and needs and promoting a ‘network identity’ through diversity. Moreover, it has to respect the institutional strategies of each institution, and therefore requires a significant involvement in terms of coordination, which is quite different when all services and roles are grouped into one single organisation at the national level.

The lack of funding is partly affecting the network’s structure and the time devoted by each centre (in particular LoCPs) to this specific activity.

The BHO has coordination and networking functions. Jointly with the other network members, it organises two meetings a year and tries to liaise with relevant authorities at the national level. It also identifies the critical points in the area of researcher mobility and coordinates the national portal. The ESCs and LoCPs provide information and assistance services to researchers, according to the Declaration of Commitment and to their internal organisation.

  • Full-time equivalent staff:
  • Number of persons:
  • BHO: 0.3
  • BHO: 1
  • ESCs: 6.1
  • ESCs: 16
  • LoCPs: 1.8
  • LoCPs: 8
  • + external 0.4
  • + 1 external person

Respondents: 10 (1 BHO; 5 ESCs; 4 LoCPs) – approximate estimates for the entire network for the year 2010

Declaration of Commitment (DoC)

All the institutions have signed the DoC.

National funding of EURAXESS Services Network

At present there is no funding available at the national level.

Target groups of the Bridgehead Organisation

  • administrative staff
  • authorities
  • researchers

Target groups of the EURAXESS Services Centres

  • researchers
  • administrative staff
  • authorities

Target groups of the Local Contact Points

  • administrative staff
  • local authorities

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

Communication is quite good, despite the fact that all these roles and responsibilities are based in different institutions and handled by different people. The member of the SG HRM is a rector and communication with the BHO is easy and very collaborative (the BHO is based at the Foundation of the Italian Rectors’ Conference).

The People NCP is included as a network member and in some cases performs activities that are strictly related to the EURAXESS mission (i.e. working groups on contracts/visa), whose results are shared in annual network meetings.

One of the People Programme Committee members is kept informed about EURAXESS and has regular contact with the BHO. Communication takes place whenever necessary, e.g. for updates on different issues concerning mobility or when there is a need for information or a request of inputs for documents. Relations are primarily based on personal involvement and collaboration between the different components, which often met for the first time at a national or international event.

1. Individual needs as a core mission

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

The EURAXESS ESC at the University of Turin provides Italian and foreign researchers with updated information and personalised assistance before, during and after a mobility period abroad. The centre was set up at the very beginning of EURAXESS (ERA-MORE), which enabled it to train people and build an appropriate service, located at the well-established Department of International Relations and Research of the University. It is an example of how participation in EURAXESS can be used to build a specific service in the framework of an institutional internationalisation policy.

Thanks to the ESC, researchers now have easy access to:

  • funding/grant opportunities

  • accommodation

  • health services

  • Italian language courses

  • schools

  • social security

  • taxation

  • visa and entry requirements

  • working conditions

The ESC provides information, advice and practical guidance about professional and daily life for researchers via email help desk, phone, or personal meetings. Individual needs are at the core of the ESC’s mission. The ESC is run by two trained persons working in the Department of International Relations and Research of the University.
Information on the service is available in English here.

The EURAXESS Services Centre based in AREA Science Park successfully tackles the topics concerning mobile researchers. EURAXESS and AREA, indeed, succeeded in developing a number of activities and services tailored both to the needs of mobile researchers and to the demand of industries and research institutes located in Friuli Venezia Giulia by knotting an active network of partners, stakeholders, research institutes, universities and the Regional Authorities.

AREA Science Park´s best practice consists in the development and implementation of the Welcome Office Trieste (WOT) service as a pilot project focused on Trieste, starting form and implementing on a local basis the fundamental services offered by EURAXESS:

The Welcome Office Trieste provides information and assistance not only to foreign researchers, but to incoming students as well. It also facilitates and optimises the daily work of local public authorities and offices. The initiative has been developed in collaboration with the local scientific and academic institutions and its overall objective is to set up an integrated network of services to enhance the international appeal of Trieste. Thirteen institutions were involved in creating the WOT, sharing their expertise on incoming services for students and researchers and enabling the development of the Welcome Office bureau in the city centre of Trieste, providing on-site information and assistance, and the www.welcomeoffice.trieste.it website, offering information prior to arrival about the regional territory and, more specifically, the city of Trieste.

The network branched at such a level throughout the regional territory that we had to create a specialised service aimed at supporting and integrating the ESC efforts at the regional level: the Welcome Office Friuli Venezia Giulia (WO FVG). The WO FVG, a joint initiative of 26 institutions based in Trieste and Udine, has been developed and implemented starting from the pilot project Welcome Office Trieste, in line with the regional authorities’ guidelines, by the Regional Network of Research Centres coordinated by AREA and sponsored by the Friuli Venezia Giulia Autonomous Region, with the aim of supporting the ESC, creating effective positive synergies and cooperation with it, and keeping a ‘watchful eye’ on local R&D and economic situations, focusing the activities and tailoring the services to the needs of mobile researchers, industries and institutions working in Friuli Venezia Giulia.

The Welcome Office Friuli Venezia Giulia consists in two helpdesks, one in Trieste and one in Udine, and the all-encompassing website www.welcomeoffice.fvg.it, divided into two detailed sections: one for Trieste (the former www.welcomeoffice.trieste.it) and one for Udine. The WO FVG website offers general information on the bureaucratic procedures and formalities concerning arrivals and stays in Trieste and Udine, thanks to a preferential link with the relevant authorities. The main goal of the WO FVG is therefore to set up a regional landmark providing assistance services in order to enhance the international appeal of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Autonomous Region.

3. More interaction, better services

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

Considering the successful experience of the Welcome Office Trieste and its positive interaction with the ESC in Trieste, the ESC in Udine manages the Welcome Office helpdesk based in Udine and collaborates in updating the information of the main www.welcomeoffice.fvg.it website and, more specifically, the Udine section. The Welcome Office Udine is supported by the Friuli Venezia Giulia Autonomous Region as part of the Welcome Office Friuli Venezia Giulia initiative.

The main goal of the Service is to set up a network of joint services targeted at researchers and students in collaboration with the research and academic institutions of the territory of Udine. This initiative aims to offer better tailored assistance and helpful information to those students and researchers interested in coming to Udine. The services offered by the Welcome Office Udine are provided in collaboration with similar efforts and assistance facilities of the institutions located in Trieste.

To achieve its mission, the Welcome Office Udine works jointly as a network with regional and local authorities.

4. Getting started: beginning with a strategy

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

The University of Calabria became a LoCP at the end of 2009. This decision was influenced by the existing internationalisation policy: since its very beginning, the University of Calabria has implemented strategies aimed at developing its international scope. Although it is a relatively young academic institution, in the last 20 years it has established more than 70 international agreements with different foreign universities with the aim of promoting cooperation in the fields of research and teaching activities. The University’s large potential for receiving students on its campus (offering 10% of the total dorm availability in Italian public Universities) allowed it to launch a programme of 300 scholarships for postgraduate international students enrolled in second-level degree courses. The programme covers room and board at the Residential Centre. An intensive 150-hour Italian language course is also offered. For the academic year 2009-2010, more than 60 students from all over the world (in particular from Africa, Asia and South America) have been admitted to this program. Currently 559 international students attend the University of Calabria. In the last three years their numbers have grown from about 0.5% to about 1.7% of the total UniCal student body.

A double-degree programme is available through the agreements signed with the Nizhny Novgorod University, the Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), the Fachhochschule Fachbereich Wirtschaft of Bochum, the Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry of Brno, the Technicka Universita of Ostrava and the University of Jaén.

Young researchers’ mobility is encouraged through additional support to PhD students who do not have a grant. In the case of a stay abroad, they receive funding for the equivalent of a 50% increase of their grant. At a post-doc level, holders of research grants can enjoy a 25% increase of their grant to pursue their work in a foreign university or in a research organisation abroad for a period no longer than one year. This year the programme will be strengthened by a number of specific efforts.
Recently the structure in charge of international cooperation activities has been reorganized and a broader International Relations Sector has been established. The Rector has delegated its supervision to two professors, responsible respectively for the Internationalisation and for the LLP program. In both cases the administrative support comes from the Scientific Research and International Relations Area. The internationalisation policy established at the institutional level has made it possible for the University to get involved in the EURAXESS activities.

This commitment is also apparent on the website for international students and visitors: three new language versions will soon be available (English, Spanish and Chinese) while the Arabic section is under construction. Moreover, a new online system called ‘Unical Admission’ is going to be implemented to streamline organisation of activities related to international students’ admission. A recently-established international affairs committee including representatives from each faculty, appointed by the respective deans, should ensure a smooth interface with the faculties and departments. This committee will also enhance the connection with research (responsibility of the departments) and the presence of colleagues with special skills in particular areas is foreseen.

The structure in charge of international relations activities is as follows:

  • Delegate of the Rector for International Relations

  • Scientific Research and International Relations Area

  • Research and International Relations Sector (where the EURAXESS LoCP is located)

  • International Relations Office.

1. KISS the text: Keep It Short and Simple.

Published: 10/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:38 pm

AREA Science Park, together with CRUI and the University of Camerino, is responsible for the content of the Italian EURAXESS national portal and believes in communicating clear, straightforward information. To achieve this goal, AREA decided to use the KISS style and guidelines to reach its users as effectively as possible.

The KISS approach is inspired by the academic and working experience of professional translators and language researchers who have been tackling the challenges of written communication. Cultures tend to express themselves in different ways, both orally and in writing. Writing styles reflect different ways of thinking, and hence must be respected. Nevertheless, when conveying information, content is the priority in the message, which must be clear, unambiguous and direct. The KISS approach aims at providing guidelines to those responsible for writing content for the different EURAXESS national portals. If we all follow the same criteria in providing written information on the portals, our users will be able to use harmonised tools and will not feel puzzled when they shift from one portal to another.

The KISS style (the acronym KISS stands for Keep It Short and Simple) is the opposite of the KILC style (Keep it Long and Complex). Basically, it is all about the differences between the English-language writing style and the Latin culture style. Since English is the main language in the EURAXESS portals, it would be useful to adopt the reader-oriented U.S/British writing style.

The main rules for a KISS style are:

  1. Use the SVO sentence structure (Subject–Verb–Object). Avoid preambles and long introductions.

  2. Use short sentences (about 20 words in a sentence is a good average).

  3. One sentence should convey one idea.

  4. Use full stops.

  5. Use bullet points for lists instead of commas.

  6. Start a new paragraph when shifting from one concept to another.

  7. Use an informal register (i.e.: carry out instead of implement, needs instead of requirements).

  8. Use active instead of passive verb forms (i.e.: you will have to instead of it will be required to).

  9. Be personal: make the subject explicit (i.e.: you can/could instead of it is possible to).

  10. Use verbal style (whenever possible, use verbs instead of nouns, i.e.: we are reviewing the content instead of the content is under review).

  11. Use repetitions (use the same word to refer to a concept, instead of using many different words that could be confusing).

  12. Be reader-oriented (focus on the reader and not on the writer).

  13. Use short linking words (i.e.: by instead of by means of, concerning instead of having regard to, if instead of in the event of).

2. Find the right content for your users

Published: 10/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:38 pm

The revamped Italian national portal has been developed jointly by three institutions—the CRUI Foundation (BHO and content provider), the University of Camerino (ESC and portal administrator) and AREA Science Park (ESC and content provider). The aim of this effort has been to ensure sustainability in the content and technical management at a national level, thus balancing the lack of funding from national authorities in support of the portal. This has helped us share a national perspective, involving three different institutions and their respective visions.

In the framework of the Portal Call of the EURAXESS TOP project, these three institutions—the CRUI Foundation, the University of Camerino and AREA Science Park—jointly researched their users’ expectations so as to consider the outcome of the study in their future development of the portal.

In order to clearly identify the needs of potential users searching for information on the portal, the CRUI Foundation organised two meetings (set up as focus groups) on 7 and 20 October 2010, involving two different target user groups:

  • representatives from universities and research bodies dealing with researcher mobility issues (both non-members and members of the Italian EURAXESS network);

  • a group of researchers (representing both outgoing and incoming researcher target users).

An interview-type questionnaire was prepared for the second group, in order to, on the one hand, receive feedback from the group and keep track of the answers following a standardised scheme, and, on the other hand, check the scheme in order to use it as a basis to develop an online feedback tool for researchers.

The main pursuits of the meetings were:

  • to review the practical information and the different sections of the portal, also taking into account the contents of other national portals;

  • to identify the needs of target groups, and especially of researchers;

  • to identify sources of information used by researchers when moving to other countries.

The outcome of the two meetings identified the following needs:

  • separate information on job opportunities for incoming and outgoing researchers;

  • more practical information concerning relocation periods (including a new section on ‘things to do before you leave the host country’);

  • shortening some sections (i.e. research landscape, mobility centres);

  • a greater focus on the users’ needs;

  • information on contract and tax-related issues for researchers.

1. KISS the text: Keep It Short and Simple.

Published: 10/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:38 pm

AREA Science Park, together with CRUI and the University of Camerino, is responsible for the content of the Italian EURAXESS national portal and believes in communicating clear, straightforward information. To achieve this goal, AREA decided to use the KISS style and guidelines to reach its users as effectively as possible.

The KISS approach is inspired by the academic and working experience of professional translators and language researchers who have been tackling the challenges of written communication. Cultures tend to express themselves in different ways, both orally and in writing. Writing styles reflect different ways of thinking, and hence must be respected. Nevertheless, when conveying information, content is the priority in the message, which must be clear, unambiguous and direct. The KISS approach aims at providing guidelines to those responsible for writing content for the different EURAXESS national portals. If we all follow the same criteria in providing written information on the portals, our users will be able to use harmonised tools and will not feel puzzled when they shift from one portal to another.

The KISS style (the acronym KISS stands for Keep It Short and Simple) is the opposite of the KILC style (Keep it Long and Complex). Basically, it is all about the differences between the English-language writing style and the Latin culture style. Since English is the main language in the EURAXESS portals, it would be useful to adopt the reader-oriented U.S/British writing style.

The main rules for a KISS style are:

  1. Use the SVO sentence structure (Subject–Verb–Object). Avoid preambles and long introductions.

  2. Use short sentences (about 20 words in a sentence is a good average).

  3. One sentence should convey one idea.

  4. Use full stops.

  5. Use bullet points for lists instead of commas.

  6. Start a new paragraph when shifting from one concept to another.

  7. Use an informal register (i.e.: carry out instead of implement, needs instead of requirements).

  8. Use active instead of passive verb forms (i.e.: you will have to instead of it will be required to).

  9. Be personal: make the subject explicit (i.e.: you can/could instead of it is possible to).

  10. Use verbal style (whenever possible, use verbs instead of nouns, i.e.: we are reviewing the content instead of the content is under review).

  11. Use repetitions (use the same word to refer to a concept, instead of using many different words that could be confusing).

  12. Be reader-oriented (focus on the reader and not on the writer).

  13. Use short linking words (i.e.: by instead of by means of, concerning instead of having regard to, if instead of in the event of).

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1. General information

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 5:04 pm

  • The level of social security coverage depends on the type of contract, but it is always compulsory – the same type of contract applies the same % of social security contribution.
  • Health care requires contributions to the National Health Service, and is therefore not included in contributions provided by the National Pension Institute, which manages sickness benefits, pensions etc.

2. Foreign employee

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 5:05 pm

  • No difference between nationals and foreigners
  • No difference between fixed and temporary, although most (mobile) researchers will have temporary contracts
  • No difference of citizenship

3. Foreign researcher without contract

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 5:05 pm

  • No difference between nationals and foreigners
  • No difference between fixed and temporary, although most (mobile) researchers will have temporary contracts
  • No difference of citizenship

4. Foreign student

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 5:06 pm

  • No difference between nationals and foreigners
  • No difference between fixed and temporary, although most (mobile) researchers will have temporary contracts
  • No difference of citizenship

5. Comments on benefits

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 5:06 pm

Sickness benefit, pensions, disability pension, parental benefits included in the term “social security”. Unemployment depends on the contract. Health care is included in contributions to the National Health Service

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