COLLABORATION

European university alliance Eutopia nets €10.2 million to train researchers

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Early-career researchers will get to conduct projects in areas that will address today's global issues.

European university research community Eutopia will be investing €10.2 million to train early career researchers in relevant fields of study that will address current real-world challenges. 

Eutopia is a community of six European campuses that have come together to address global and regional challenges and aims to develop a new form of open, inclusive and innovative higher education. 

A cohort of 76 post-doctoral researchers will be trained under the Eutopia Science and Innovation Postdoctoral Fellowships Programme (EUTOPIA-SIF) for over five years to become the future generation of science and innovation leaders in Europe. 

EUTOPIA-SIF received funds of €5.6 million from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme which accumulated to €10.2 million thanks to an additional  €4.6 million of funding injected by Eutopia member institutions. 

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The cohort of postgraduate researchers will take part in internationally excellent collaborative research and teaching and will be working with local governments, businesses and organisations. 

The programme will aim to tackle current global issues by involving these researchers in study areas such as sustainable materials, water and the environment, antimicrobial resistance, cancer and reproductive health, the impact of big data and artificial intelligence, and ethical issues and inequality. 

The programme will also involve in-depth collaboration across the alliance of universities in the form of new research projects. The alliance includes Vrije Universiteit Brussel, CY Cergy Paris Université, University of Gothenburg, University of Ljubljana, Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona and the University of Warwick.

Eutopia
The programme involves in-depth collaboration between six universities. Source: Mikael Kristenson/Unsplash.

“The challenges facing our world today require us to collaborate across international divides and across traditional disciplinary boundaries. We also need to align our work with that of the businesses and organisations in all sectors that will help us deliver real benefits to society,” said University of Warwick Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Institute of Advanced Study Professor Peter Scott, who is also the university’s lead academic for EUTOPIA-SIF. 

“We thus intend that the people emerging from this project will be equipped to change the world – making lives healthier, fairer, safer, more just and resilient, and more enriched. The Institute of Advanced Study at Warwick is very proud to be delivering this major program with our EUTOPIA partners.”

The programme also involves more than 45 companies, local authorities and non-profit organisations that will train or host researchers on secondments. 

“The EUTOPIA Science and Innovation Fellowship Program will create outstanding opportunities for talented young researchers to explore new research horizons, within an integrated program, gathering the scientific communities of the EUTOPIA alliance,” said CY Cergy Paris Université Vice-President for International Scientific Development Arnaud Lefranc, another founding member of Eutopia. 

“It aims to train 76 post-doctoral researchers, with a high degree of entrepreneurial and innovation awareness to be part of the future generation of Science and Innovation leaders in Europe, capable of addressing the global challenges of our times,” he added. 

“The program will also stimulate the furthering of research collaborations and joint projects within EUTOPIA. I look forward to seeing the first cohort of fellows start their research!”

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“I am delighted to welcome this new and significant funding for the EUTOPIA Science & Innovation Postdoctoral Fellowships Programme, which is both an endorsement of the ambitions and capabilities of our EUTOPIA alliance, and a dynamic complementary boost to our collective aims. We are developing an innovation-driven, interdisciplinary programme for world-class collaborative research,” said University of Warwick Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Europe Professor Seán Hand.

“We are providing outstanding young researchers with a community of inquiry that is inherently transnational, highly mobile, and resource-rich – and we are integrating brilliant researchers into sustainable and transformative academic-industry partnerships of urgent relevance.” 

The first call for applications for EUTOPIA-SIF will be published around Autumn this year. Research Fellows will be offered full freedom to pursue their research projects while benefitting from expert mentoring and state-of-the-art research infrastructure. 

The Eutopia alliance has recently been included in the Erasmus+ ‘European Universities’ pilot project.