Staff mobility within Erasmus+ key action 1
Co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.
There are two mobility activities for higher education staff within Key Action 1 of Erasmus+: Staff Teaching Mobility and Staff Training Mobility.
Information held here covers both "outgoing" (activities for Imperial College staff) and "incoming".
There are grants associated with these activities (and that grants are administered by the participant's home university).
All Imperial College staff (employees, unless also registered as a student with the College) can be considered for the travel grants for training, while teaching staff can also be considered for the grants which support teaching exchanges.
Erasmus+ Travel Grants for Training Activity
These grants are open to all Imperial College employees (with the exception of those who are also students of the College), with the support of their line manager.
Erasmus+ requires visits to be structured (approved by all parties ahead of travel), for participation to be recognised in some way by the College as part of the employee's personal development, and for the visit to support the College Strategy. They are proving to be excellent opportunities for staff to broaden their knowledge and horizons and for the College to support staff in obtaining international experience, especially those holding more junior positions. Get involved!
The current call for applications has a deadline of Friday 14 February 2020 for visits (ordinarily 2-7 days, including travel) to take place in the April to September 2020 period.
For further information (including scope and eligibility of a visit; how to apply; value of grants; plus perspectives from previous participants): Information Sheet - Erasmus+ Staff Training Grants (2019-20)
Please note that the UK's exit from the EU does not impact on the provision of these grants during 2019-20.
In 2019, the College is able to fund up to 22 visits.
Past visits have included:
- a communications officer attending a week-long Erasmus labelled workshop in Austria.
- a senior research fellow being hosted by a pharmaceutical company in northern Spain.
- an events manager visiting an alumni team at a university in Sweden.
- an international student support advisor visiting a similar team at a university in northern Italy.
- careers advisors who have visited HEIs and businesses in France and the Netherlands.
- research associates and academic staff who have visited research institutes in a variety of countries.
- a postgraduate administrator attending language training in France (part funded).
- a research associate who attended a summer school (part funded).
- a post-doctoral research associate visited an industrial location in Toulouse
- a research technician who attended a training course at a company in Germany.
- international relations staff who have attended various training and networking events in various countries.
- a teaching fellow made a networking visit (focusing on the use of postgraduates as teaching assistants) to a university in Austria.
If you are interested in a more "local" work-shadowing scheme, the Outside Insight scheme may be of interest (but please note that the Erasmus Co-ordinator cannot assist with enquiries for this other scheme)
Erasmus+ Travel Grants for Teaching Visits (to be developed in the context of an exchange)
These are open to all Imperial College teaching staff, with the support of their line manager.
Erasmus+ requires visits to be structured (approved by all parties ahead of travel; including the preparation of a formal teacher exchange agreement in line with the rules of the Erasmus scheme) and for participation to be recognised in some way by the College as part of the staff member's personal development.
The current call for applications is a rolling call, for visits (ordinarily 2-7 days, including travel, with a minimum of 8 hours teaching) to take place before 30 September 2020. There are up to 3 grants available. These will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
The teaching that forms part of the visit can contribute to the formal curriculum of the host, but is more likely to be of a supportive nature (e.g. additional lectures, workshops). It can include PhD supervision.
If the visit combines a training element (combined visit) then the teaching element can be reduced to 4 hours.
More complicated two partner focused visits can also be considered (subject to conditions).
FOCUS: Staff Mobility (Teaching): A postdoctoral researcher visited the University of Leon in July 2019 and remarked "The Erasmus+ scheme provided me with the opportunity to improve my teaching skills by participating in the final stages of an International Master in Spain. I was able to participate in both lectures and in the final evaluation of the different practical projects that the students performed. I was one of three selected junior experts from outside Spain and I represented the neuroscience field. Sometimes for junior researchers like me it is easier to gain experience in the research field while the opportunities to improve teaching skills are more restricted. I think is important to have the opportunity to dedicate some time while pursuing postdoctoral activity to improve teaching skills. The Erasmus+ scheme provides a perfect opportunity to improve these skills even if participation is limited in duration. Also, the diversity of the projects the students undertake allowed me to discuss in scientific terms with the different supervisors and have a closer relationship with them, which is a very important baseline for potential future collaborations. I was also able to perform a workshop about the application of confocal microscopy in the analysis of neuronal mapping where I was able to show to students tools they were unfamiliar with. I strongly recommend Erasmus to other postdoctoral staff!"
IMPORTANT: Depts at Imperial can also invite staff from enterprises (in a non-UK programme country) to teach at Imperial, and the guidance and any grant administration would be provided by Imperial (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For further information please email email@example.com
Both training and teaching activities may involve Imperial College as the host. Staff of other universities (non-UK and must be located in an Erasmus Programme country) are welcome to find their own host at Imperial, i.e. make direct contact with staff (sections/departments), but they should refer to the rules of participation (selection etc) provided by their home university. Please note that the College receives many such requests and can only accept a few each year.
- Training: minimum 2 days and ordinarily a maximum of a working week.
- Teaching: minimum 8 hours for a visit of one week or less. The visit can last up to 6 months, but ordinarily will be shorter. The teaching that forms part of the visit can contribute to the formal curriculum of the host, but is more likely to be of a supportive nature (e.g. additional lectures, workshops). It can include PhD supervision. PhD students themselves can participate in "teaching" activities.
Caution: Departments at Imperial College, like any other university, are extremely busy, and a member of staff of another institution might improve their chances of receiving a favourable response by taking note of the following:
- Do your research about Imperial College London before emailing us: Obvious? Yes, but it is surprising how many emails we receive where staff from other institutions do not do their research. So, please identify the department (or specific section within a department) - using the College's extensive website - to whom you wish to address your request. Identify a specific member of staff to address your query to (the lead administrator for a section may be the best person to contact as they may have experience of such requests). Remember that the admin structure at you home institution may be different to Imperial College and you need to be sure that you are contacting the right section (section titles may be different; different scope of work etc). It probably helps if you are following up on existing contacts (made via conferences; via institutional networks; introductions from senior staff perhaps; or perhaps you have hosted someone from Imperial previously), so as to avoid appearing like a cold-caller.
- As you may imagine, organising such visits requires a lot of time and attention on the part of the host department/section (even though we know that you would take care of your own accommodation requirements). Therefore, think very carefully about what you are asking your potential host to provide. Think also about what it is that you are offering your host. What makes you an interesting individual to our staff? Such visits need to be reciprocal in terms of content/aims. You have to convince your potential host that you are somebody worth hosting (devoting time to), someone that they could learn from/exchange ideas with/develop a relationship with. Help the person who reads your request by being as clear as possible as to why you are contacting them. Provide the reader of your email with really good reasons to pass you request to a relevant colleague for consideration.
- The section/dept you contact may be "international" and outward looking in their mode of operation and perhaps is used to such requests (but perhaps as a result obtaining a visit is very difficult), or perhaps you are contacting a section/dept who are not used to such approaches (perhaps are even surprised to be asked).
- It is advisable to request a short visit (2 or 3 days). Perhaps the visit could be for the afternoons or mornings only, over 3 or 4 days perhaps. Of course, it is entirely up to the potential host dept/section as to what they agree to, if anything. We suggest a short duration so that perhaps your request appears more managable to whoever reads your email.
- Visits that seek to include several meetings/discussions with more than one section or a variety of staff may on the one hand be more difficult to arrange for the person considering your request; however, on the other hand, they would help spread the load here. It is for you to suggest a structure to the visit, and hopefully for the dept/section you contact to respond favourably while suggesting alternatives.
- Be prepared to find that your suggested dates are not to the host dept's liking, and to be flexible about other dates.
- Be prepared, naturally, for a negative response.
- If Imperial College is an unknown factor to you then perhaps you would be better advised to seek a visit to an institution that has exisiting links with your own university.
- Please do not email your request to the College's Erasmus Co-ordinator as he will only advise you to contact a department/section directly.
If a member of staff of another institution is successful in obtaining a host (department/section) at Imperial College then the host department/section should kindly assist the person to be hosted to complete the paperwork involved (i.e. it does not need to be referred elsewhere within Imperial College), which is:
- a formal invitation in advance of the visit. Use a template tri-parite training or teaching plan/agreement provided by the person to be hosted.
- obtain a copy of their passport (ID page and any relevant visa page) upon arrival.
- at the end of the visit provide a letter confirming attendance (perhaps using a template provided by the person to be hosted).
PLUS, in the case of teaching mobility ONLY, to be a valid 'teaching activity' it must in theory or in practice operate on a reciprocal basis and therefore an exchange agreement is necessary. The contact at Imperial College (for enquiries from both internal staff and external universities) is the Erasmus+ Key Action 1 co-ordinator: Adrian Hawksworth
Any grant to the mobile participant which may be available is ordinarily administered by the participant's home university.
- Staff from enterprises may also be considered for a teaching activity (i.e. invited by a department at Imperial). The mobility grant which is available would be administered by Imperial College, and therefore the guidance for participation in their case would originate from Imperial. Contact the Erasmus+ Key Action 1 co-ordinator: Adrian Hawksworth
- A combined visit covering the minimum requirements of a teaching visit plus training activity can also be considered.
- Any grant to the mobile participant which may be available is ordinarily administered by the participant's home university.
- All participants are required to complete an on-line questionnaire for their home country's national Erasmus agency at the end.
- Other enquiries regarding both training and teaching mobility can be addressed to the Erasmus+ Key Action 1 co-ordinator: Adrian Hawksworth