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FnAK’s annual report 2022 can be downloaded here. (French)

Professor Guy OURISSON paved the way for the Kastler Foundation (FnAK) to welcome and monitor international researchers in France, following the example of the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH Stiftung), albeit for all researchers on academic mobility to France and without funding their research stays. We are on the same path today, thanks to the support of the French government and local authorities under the three-year Strasbourg European Capital Contract since 2000 and to the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris (CiuP), which has been our home since 2002.

With the first reception office set up in Strasbourg, followed by a tour of France’s research campuses, and finally our cooperation with the European Commission, regulations, organisation and professionalisation of the reception service have progressed to the benefit of international researchers, both in France and in the EU (researchers’ directive, EURAXESS network, HRS4R, etc.). According to data from the ALFRED® software[1], accessible in real time via the EURAXESS network, around 80% of them currently benefit from this (15,000/year):

  • the aim of registering international researchers in ALFRED® is to offer them 360° support, from preparing their stay in France to the rest of their career, through to the completion of their research project under the best possible conditions in France;
  • the ultimate aim for higher education and research establishments, regions and the country as a whole is to roll out a follow-up strategy (alumni researchers), both to combine academic hospitality and international influence and to recruit the best talent from such a pool.

In short, we have helped to develop in France the culture of academic hospitality cultivated by the Humboldt Foundation (to the same level as in the UK and the USA). To reach the same level in terms of post-stay follow-up strategy, we will be undertaking a number of actions from 2021 onwards, such as further development of the ALFRED® software for networking with the international researchers who register with it, and our cooperation with Campus France and its France Alumni platform.

The ultimate aim is to stay as close as possible to the needs :

  • international researchers, in terms of working conditions and employability ;
  • their host research teams, to remove obstacles to residence, accommodation and integration so that they can devote themselves to their research work as soon as they arrive;
  • the research organisations that receive them, to help them develop their networks of alumni researchers and recruit the best talent;
  • our diplomatic network, for our international influence.