The opportunity to work overseas is a substantial benefit of academic research.
Working in another country offers you the chance to gain new expertise and critical input for your research and can help foster long-term collaborations and friendships. In many research fields, working abroad is seen as an important factor for academic career progression.
Finding a research position overseas
Many researchers find positions overseas through networking. At research conferences talk to researchers whose work you admire and ask them if they have any upcoming vacancies. To enhance your chances, investigate what funding schemes are available to work abroad. In the same manner, talk to overseas visitors who come to your department, ask your manager or supervisor about the overseas researchers they could recommend.
Research positions abroad are advertised through various channels. Check periodicals, learned societies' websites and newsletters in your field for relevant vacancies. Advertising positions can be expensive, so keep a close eye on the individual institutions' website and noticeboards at your institution.
European Researcher's Mobility Portal – search the European Economic Area (EEA) for research positions and funding (EU and national) by country or research field. All research disciplines are covered. This site also contains a useful starting point to identify European Union funding schemes (eg Marie Curie Fellowship scheme) and other international and national funding opportunities.
The European University Institute (EUI) Academic Careers Observatory offers information on academic careers in the humanities and social sciences. The website covers Europe and North America and is developing content for Asia and Australia.
While abroad, it is important to maintain contact with your previous employers and colleagues or even an established network such as ERA LINK which enables North American based researchers stay in touch with the European research community.
Short-term visits overseas are also worth considering. Many funding bodies support short visits abroad and it is a good way to gain experience and develop networks for your future career. See, for example:
Finding a non-research job overseas is more difficult than an academic job, but opportunities are increasing.
Looking at UK-based companies with overseas offices is a good starting point. Languages are more important for non-research roles, though English is increasingly the work language in various professions internationally, particularly in technical sectors. Bear in mind that large international firms may offer you the opportunity to work overseas.
Further information on working in over 50 countries can be found on the Prospects website
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