The European Commission has launched an online portal to provide information and support to researchers who are based in or who have fled Ukraine.
The “European Research Area for Ukraine” (ERA4Ukraine) portal collates information on EU-level initiatives to support researchers and is the latest addition to the existing EURAXESS network, which links national platforms from 43 countries that are either in the EU or associated with the Horizon Europe Programme.
The launch of the portal comes amid a broader set of EU measures to support the work and livelihoods of researchers impacted by the war in Ukraine. Similar initiatives focusing on providing jobs and professional networks have also been set up in recent weeks, and existing ones adapted to accommodate researchers leaving Ukraine.
“We stand with the researchers and innovators of Ukraine who are faced with unprecedented circumstances as a result of the Russian invasion against their country”, said research and innovation (R&I) Commissioner, Mariya Gabriel. “Ukrainian scientists and researchers have been key contributors to EU research and innovation,” she added.
“Pending the ratification of Ukraine’s association to Horizon Europe, we have made sure successful beneficiaries can already receive funding from the EU R&I programmes. Today’s launch of ERA4Ukraine is another important action to support our Ukrainian peers.”
Last year, Ukraine signed an agreement to associate with Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation funding programme, and Euratom, which provides research and training in nuclear R&I.
While the ratification process has yet to be completed, the Commission said that qualifying Ukrainian beneficiaries will be able to receive funding from EU R&I projects.
Earlier this month, the EU suspended research cooperation with Russian institutions and the funding of current contracts, describing the military assault as “an attack on elementary values of freedom, democracy and self-determination, on which cultural expression, academic and scientific freedom and scientific cooperation are based.”
ERA4Ukraine will also provide information to help researchers from Ukraine find accommodation and employment and transfer their academic qualifications abroad.
The EURAXESS network, on which the portal will be hosted, was initiated in 2013 as a network of national and research centres across the EU and Horizon Europe associated countries providing details of employment, funding and career opportunities for researchers.
Also available to Ukrainian researchers will be the network’s existing programmes, including Science4Refugees, which offers internships and jobs to refugees along with practical information on resettling in the EU.
The European Research Council (ERC), which funds European R&I, has also asked all its grantees to assist in finding temporary jobs for research staff. Within a few days of the initiative’s opening, the Commission says, 380 offers had been received.
“We call on ERC grantees and on universities and research centres hosting them: open your labs and open your teams to researchers who had to flee the war in Ukraine”, said ERC President Professor Maria Leptin. “This is only one way of giving a helping hand – it’s crucial that the scientific community stands together.”
[Edited by Luca Bertuzzi/Alice Taylor]