Human Resources & Mobility


The fundamentals of a successful European Research Area (ERA) are excellent researchers. To ensure these, it is necessary to improve the attractiveness of researchers´ careers in Europe and the conditions for their mobility. One of the most important tasks on the way towards a genuine European research labour market is transparent, open and merit-based recruitment. This makes research careers more attractive and is linked to mobility, gender equality and research performance. Strong human resource policies have positive impacts on career prospects, especially for young researchers. Member States are invited to remove barriers to application and to cross-border access to researcher’s recruitment, as well as to support initiatives such as “EURAXESS – Researchers in Motion” and the “European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers”.

Member States are joining their efforts to offer researchers adequate framework conditions and to ensure a single European labour market for researchers in the long run: The Standing Working Group on Human Resources and Mobility (ERAC SWG HRM) is the structure to support the implementation and the monitoring of progress of the EU2020 Flagship Initiative Innovation Union (IU) and the development of its European Research Area Framework for Priority 3 (Open labour market for researchers) and the areas related to researchers’ career and mobility (e.g. European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R), new Students and Researchers' Directive EU 2016/801, EURAXESS services and network, the European Higher Education Area (EHEA)) at EU and national levels as well as the attractiveness of Europe to researchers in general.

The ERA and Researcher Mobility

To a large extent, the ERA is about making the most of Europe's human resources. For the ERA to develop successfully, Europe must increase the number of researchers in Europe and make it easier for them to access training elsewhere.

The Marie Skłodowska -Curie Actions (MSCA) were designed to help bring about the ERA. These actions are implemented through the "Excellence" Pillar of the Horizon 2020 Programme, and provide funding opportunities for mobility, training and career development at all stages of a researcher's career.

These actions will help to make the ERA as open and accessible as possible. They will help to enhance the transfer of scientific knowledge worldwide, making Europe a more attractive place for talented researchers to train and work, while also recognising excellence in European research.

They also seek to promote research as a career and help create a market for researchers within the ERA. There are schemes for individuals and schemes for organisations to apply for funding.