C7 - Supporting internationally mobile researchers

Day 2 at 11:00 - Supporting international mobile researchers to make the cultural transition to work in a new research environment is becoming increasingly important. As distinct from the practical support provided when moving to a different country or institution, researchers need to focus on what soft-skills they can develop to be as effective as possible when embarking on a research contract in a new environment. HEIs must also be aware of the needs of mobile researchers and the value of the support they could provide in maximising the research outputs of such mobile researchers.

The workshop reported on the work being done by two projects to address these issues.

REFIRS is funded by the Higher Education Academy and is looking at incoming internationally-mobile research students' perceptions of the research environment they are entering and how the reality meets these expectations.

ImpactE is funded by the European Commission and is a consortium of 6 European Universities in partnership with Vitae and Epigeum. The project is wide ranging, with a focus on developing tools to assist international mobile researchers to make the cultural and social transitions to work successfully in a new research environment. Strand - All Researchers (practice).
Day Day 2
Session C
Start time 11.00
Strand All Researchers (practice)
Code C7
Presenters Dr Lowry McComb - Director of Researcher Development, Durham University
Mrs Louise Atkin - Project Manager, Vitae


The session covered outputs from the projects above including:

  • internationally-mobile researchers' expectations
  • internationally-mobile researchers' needs to support their transition to a new environment
  • methods to support the above
  • experiences from other Institutions.


  • gained a greater awareness of the challenges facing internationally-mobile researchers
  • explored alternative approaches to supporting these researchers in their transition into a new country


Information, interaction and discussion.

Participants were prepared to include examples from their own experience during the discussion.