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Europe must focus on careers to close research divide

Image: eddiedangerous [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

By giving young talent autonomy and job security, new member states could enhance their research without expanding their budgets, say Jürgen Janger and Miriam van Hoed

Europe’s research divides remain stubbornly unbridged. According to the European Innovation Scoreboard, the research performance of the top 10 countries in the EU grew faster than that of the bottom 10 between 2008 and 2015. Another study, published in 2017, found that thanks to a brain drain to older EU nations, international collaboration by new members fell when they joined the union.

Over the past two years, we have been part of a team that has surveyed more than 10,000 researchers in 31 European countries to understand how researcher mobility reflects and creates these international divides. Our results highlight the challenges of spreading excellence across the EU, as well as some of the ways it might be achieved.

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