On 10th and 11th of December 2015, a conference titled „COFUND – synergies to fuel researchers' careers“ was held in Luxembourg at Chambre de Commerce. The programme of the conference consisted of managing issues surrounding the state of play and challenges to COFUND under FP7, COFUND experiences and challenges and new elements under COFUND H2020 along with the presentation of the winners of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) 2015 – COFUND awards during the Gala dinner.
As a part of the workshop “Careers pathways and histories: Excellence in context”, NEWFELPRO’s very own Ivana Nina Unković,
among the few selected COFUND fellows, held a presentation titled “From unemployment to a promising career” where she spoke about her experiences with NEWFELPRO and her career in general.
Representatives of the NEWFELPRO project were participants of the workshop titled “Managing international programmes: challenges for COFUND” where experiences from coordinators from different countries were presented in regards to managing a COFUND project.
When it comes to the winners of the aforementioned award, three outstanding researchers, Dr. Julien Meyer, Dr. Aiden Doherty and Dr. David Hoey, who were funded by the COFUND scheme, were selected amongst the most promising scientists and honoured for their excellent research. The three of them are researching interpretation of whistled languages through cognitive science, analyzing big data for health purposes and developing innovative treatments for osteoporosis.
Finally, the Croatian representatives visited the Belval Innovation Campus + High furnance in order to gain insight in Luxembourg’s current R&D policies and its implementation the development of Belval.
The main conclusion to be taken from the conference is that the COFUND scheme became the most popular and visible form of MSCA actions and that, as such, needs to continue being as inclusive as possible and inciting for researcher’s careers. Hence, the new financial elements are introduced under the Horizon 2020 programme which, by enabling synergies with the structural funds, should further strengthen the widening of the impact COFUND schemes have on a European level.
The MSCA 2015 COFUND conference was co-financed by the European Union. The conclusions of the conference can be found here