Washington, 08 Feb 2005 1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
1.1 ERA-LINK BACKGROUND
There are thousands of European researchers who have left Europe to live and work in the US. Although these researchers are no longer physically located within Europe, the European Commission views these researchers as a potential asset not a loss. Directorate General Research has identified the need to maximise this largely untapped potential for the enhancement of the European Research Area (ERA). One way suggested to make better use of the latent impact of this community of researchers is to build links of communication and networking among researchers across the Atlantic. Directorate General Research intends to turn this concept into a concrete action: ERA-Link; a permanent communication tool to keep European researchers in the US networked and informed about European research.
This project concerned an online survey of European researchers in the US on the proposed ERA-Link network.
1.2 ERA-LINK ONLINE SURVEY
During October and November 2004, The Evaluation Partnership (TEP) conducted an online survey of potential users of European Researchers Abroad Link (ERA-Link).
The survey was aimed at understanding what types of information and services the ERA-Link network might provide to European researchers in the US. It was developed in conjunction with DG Research, the EU Delegation and EU Member State Science and Technology Counsellors in Washington.
The ERA-Link online survey was launched on October 11 th 2004 for a period of 7 weeks. During the first two weeks the response rate was very encouraging. 1033 e-mails were sent out to promote the survey which resulted in a circa 50% initial response rate of 458 replies. Additional forms of awareness raising were consequently implemented throughout Europe and the US with major research stakeholders. This resulted in publishing the survey on their websites or in a dedicated article in their newsletters or in direct mailing.
At the close of the survey, a total of 1912 researchers had completed the survey. These researchers represented over 33 different European nationalities. The largest proportion of responses came from those in Post Doc positions (39%) followed by Seniors 1 (28%). In terms of the research field, the largest number of responses came from those in Biology (%), Physics (15%), Engineering (13%) and Medicine and Veterinary Medicine (12%). The Higher Education Sector accounted for 66% of respondents followed by those working in Public Sector Research Institutions (19%).
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