More than 300 graduates, students and scientists are gathering these days at Science +, an event where experts and companies get together to announce professional alternatives that exist in the field of science, especially within the European context. The event, organised by the Basque Country University (UPV/EHU), the Bizkaia: Talent programme by the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, and the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), is part of Career Day, a European Commission Horizon 2020 initiative within the EURAXESS programme.
The Bizkaia Aretoa in Bilbao has become a meeting place for chemists, biochemists, physicists, and other young scientists with excellent qualifications, whose CVs include master’s degrees, doctorates, periods abroad, and internships in research groups, but who, however, have encountered numerous obstacles when trying to find a job.
The event includes the participation of experts on research, journalism and scientific dissemination, R&D companies and research centres, whose presentations will focus on improving job expectations, workshops to enhance resumes, as well as information and advice on scholarships, in addition to contributing personal experiences, finding related scientific partnerships, discovering which R&D programmes can serve as support, and discuss the challenges for the future of European science. The idea is to attract attention to these researchers, offer them mobility services, favour networking contexts, and help scientists “to identify professional options that are beyond academia and discover other areas of society into which they can fit”, says Nekane Balluerka, rector of the UPV/EHU.
The idea of organising this event, the first edition of which was held in 2015, emerged from a group of Spanish scientists living in Germany and headed by the doctor in Biochemistry and alumnus of the UPV/EHU, Sergio Pérez Acebron. This 36-year-old scientist from Bizkaia, who heads a research group and teaches at the University of Heidelberg, considers that international experience is “essential”, but regrets that “many Basque scientists cannot return from abroad because they cannot find jobs here”.