Research Careers & Mobility


With the new European Research Area, the European Union has set itself as one of its goals to strengthen the mobility of researchers and the free flow of knowledge and technology. To achieve this goal, the Commission will deliver, by the end of 2024, a toolbox of support for researchers careers. This toolbox is being developed in partnership with Member States and research organisations, and will consist of the following components: (i) a Researchers Competence Framework, (ii) a mobility scheme to support exchange between industry and academia, (iii) targeted training under Horizon Europe, and (iv) a one-stop shop portal. The toolbox will lead to the creation of a pipeline for talent.

Following up on the Commission's proposal of July 2021, the Pact for Research and Innovation sets out a list of 10 common values and principles which guide research and innovation in Europe as well as Europe's collaboration with the rest of the world. These values and principles include, for instance, freedom of scientific research, or the free circulation of researchers and knowledge. The Pact for R&I also outlines 16 shared priority areas for joint action. One of these concerns the careers and mobility of researchers, and the research assessment and reward system. The aim is to give greater recognition to researchers’ careers, to make researchers' careers more attractive, and to equip them with the training and skills required to in order to fulfill the requirements of the changing role of researchers across the Union.

The new ERA Policy Agenda, annexed to the Council Conclusions on the ERA governance, sets out 20 concrete ERA actions for the period 2022-2024, in order to contribute to implementing the priority areas defined in the Pact for R&I. These actions include promoting attractive and sustainable research careers, bringing science closer to citizens, and improving EU-wide access to excellence.

Despite the fact that researchers are at the very heart of the ERA, they still suffer from precarious working conditions and skills mismatches that hamper their inter-sectoral and inter-disciplinary mobility and create obstacles in the full cycle of knowledge production, circulation and valorisation. In addition, the work of researchers is not yet adequately recognised at societal level, and efforts are still needed to achieve a balanced geographical mobility. The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (C&C), and their implementing mechanism, the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R), have contributed to strengthening the ERA and to the development of an attractive, open and sustainable European labour market for researchers. However, now this framework needs to be updated, in order to be able to better address existing and new challenges, and to implement targeted actions. A comprehensive legislative framework will be proposed that will be wider in scope than the current C&C.

The new framework will aim, inter alia, at:

  1. improving working conditions of researchers;
  2. strengthening skills, employability and the attractiveness of research careers;
  3. promoting inter-sectoral mobility and balanced mobility between Member States;
  4. addressing issues pertaining to research assessment; and
  5. encouraging the full recognition of the research profession.

The new framework will be complemented by other initiatives, including ERA4You, a scheme for promoting the flow of talents from academia to other sectors and vice-versa, the ERA Talent Platform as the evolution of EURAXESS into a one- stop-shop for researchers, an observatory for research careers, and the European Competence Framework for Researchers. The latter will foster adequate skilling, up-skilling and re-skilling of researchers throughout their career, and the visibility and recognition of researchers’ competences.


  • Development of a European Framework for research careers and a toolbox of support measures to improve the attractiveness of research careers in academia and beyond;
  • Launch of an observatory on research careers;
  • Revised Charter and Code for researchers;
  • ERA Talent Platform set up as the one-stop-shop online gateway to EURAXESS services, network and portals including HRS4R, and RESAVER;
  • Launch of the the ERA4You initiative to promote talent circulation between sectors and across the EU;
  • Exchange of good practices with regard to R&I systems to support balanced brain circulation;
  • Pilot of the European Framework for Research Careers ERA Talent Platform with the European University alliances.

The EURAXESS services, network and portals will be broadened into an ERA Talent Platform, an online one-stop-shop, with improved structure and governance, exploiting links to Europass, the EU platform for people to manage their learning and careers, and the EURES network of European public employment services.

ERA4You is an umbrella policy initiative that aims to:

  • enable a geographically more balanced circulation of R&I talents, strengthening retaining, attracting, and return activities through favourable working conditions and better access to mobility funding programmes;
  • boost permeability and employability of R&I talents across sectors and improve interaction between ecosystem actors for training and career development.