1. For its 7th Scientific Council, the FnAK celebrates its 30th anniversary at the Palais de l’Institut

    featured image

    On Tuesday 12 December 2023, the Fondation nationale Alfred Kastler (FnAK) celebrated 30 years of activity at the Palais de l’Institut.  Now part of the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris (CiuP), the FnAK was created by the Académie des Sciences and their relationship is still very close.

    At the end of the 7th meeting of its scientific council, three speeches preceded an anniversary cocktail and a tour of this « Parliament of the learned world »:

    • Olivier BECHT, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade, Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad (recording)
    • Édouard BRÉZIN, Member of the Académie des Sciences, Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Kastler Foundation
    • Catherine MÉNÉZO-MÉREUR, Acting General Delegate of the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris.

    Many thanks to the French government and to the local authorities of the Grand-Est region, who have supported the Kastler Foundation financially and strategically since its creation.

  2. FnAK’s ANNUAL REPORT 2022

    featured image

    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.
  3. FnAK’s ANNUAL REPORT 2021

    featured image

    FnAK’s annual report 2021 can be downloaded here. (French)

    The Kastler Foundation works to promote the mobility of international researchers to France:

      – The Kastler Foundation contributes to fostering international cooperation, as did the 1966 Nobel Prize in Physics Alfred Kastler.
      – Son expertise est reconnue au plus haut niveau stratégique, en France et en Europe.
    • WHO IS IT FOR?
      – Any researcher in academic mobility, regardless of nationality, discipline, funding and host site in France.
      – Any employer or host, regardless of their status.
    • WHY?
      FnAK’s missions are divided into four main areas:
      – To welcome: to professionalize the national and territorial reception of French universities and research organizations.
      – To improve: to cooperate with the Ministries and government services for the improvement of the immigration law.
      – To monitor: to deploy the ALFRED® (ALumni and Foreign REsearchers Directory) database throughout France, thanks to the EURAXESS network.
      – To decide: to accompany political and academic decision-makers with the strategic support of a scientific council.
      – The Kastler Foundation was created by the French Academy of Sciences in 1993, following a report to the Prime Minister on the situation of international researchers in France. From its headquarters in Strasbourg, it launched a network of some 50 EURAXESS centers in France, thanks to the European Commission, to promote French higher education, research and innovation.
      – The Ile-de-France network (Paris region) requires a higher degree of expertise and organization. For this reason, it has become a component of the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris, which is now recognized for its ability to host international student and scientific mobility.
      – The Cité internationale and the Kastler Foundation are the alliance of two cardinal ambitions for sustainable international academic relations. Under the dual impetus of philanthropists from all over the world in 1925 for students, and the Academy of Sciences in 1993 for researchers, they intend to facilitate the life of people in academic mobility and cultivate multicultural exchanges conducive to peace in the world.
      – Constituted as an association EURAXESS France, the French network is a strategic partner of the Kastler Foundation.
      – The State and local authorities of the Grand-Est region have supported the Kastler Foundation financially and strategically since its creation.
      – This vast field of action offers the FnAK a privileged observation post. It is an original model of cooperation in France and internationally with all the organizations and individuals specialized in international scientific mobility.
      – With the French EURAXESS network, it is developing a mobility observatory to meet the needs of researchers and their hosts.
  4. FnAK’s ANNUAL REPORT 2020

    featured image

    FnAK’s annual report 2019 can be downloaded here. (French)

    The Alfred Kastler National Foundation, today acc&ss FnAK and part of the Directorate of International Mobility Support (DAMI) of the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris, was created following the commissioning by the General Secretariat of National Defence (today SGDSN) of a report on the Follow-up and Reception of High Level Foreign Scientists to Prof. Guy OURISSON, delegate for international relations of the Academy of Sciences.

    This report established that the follow-up was « lousy » and was accompanied by a lack of reception policy, concluding that it was necessary to create a foundation that would emulate the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, to ensure as a priority the reception and follow-up of foreign scientists in France.

    acc&ss FnAK is thus at the origin of the scientist-researcher procedure and the French network for hosting mobile researchers, which the European Commission used as a model for the launch of the ERA-Net EURAXESS and which FnAK coordinated in France, before handing over to the Conference of University Presidents (CPU). The latter set up the French EURAXESS network as an association in 2011 (EURAXESS France), which is currently the only network among 42 national networks with a legal personality.

    Today, FnAK acts as a service provider for the French EURAXESS Centres, providing them with its legal expertise and sharing with them the ALFRED® (Alumni and Foreign REsearchers Directory) database, thus playing an essential role in the support of people in academic mobility to France.

    Its Observatory on the Mobility of Researchers to France, developed by FnAK, provides indicators to higher education and research institutions and enables them to adapt the services offered to the specific needs of this public.

    Finally, with regard to the follow-up of researchers after they have left France, FnAK is inspired by the researcher alumni strategy developed by the A. v. Humboldt foundation, to contribute to the international influence of our territories with regard to mobile researchers.

  5. FnAK’s Annual Report 2019

    featured image

    FnAK’s annual report 2019 can be downloaded here. (French)

    At this time, the country is getting back on track after the Covid-19 outbreak. What will mobility look like in the future?

    Researcher mobility helps networks and countries meet the challenges of the future. But how much do researchers in a digitised world really need to be in the same place at the same time to work together and benefit from each other? Do new technologies make it possible to avoid climate-damaging air travel to conferences and research visits?

    Physical and virtual mobility should not be in opposition to each other. The challenge is how to reconcile the two in the highly flexible and dynamic mesh of interconnected networks, to produce the knowledge we need for the future.
    A large mass of users have easy access to specialised knowledge that they can continue to process. A new framework is emerging in which knowledge is exchanged and generated. This virtual mobility of knowledge changes the form of knowledge itself. What is lost, however, are the informal conversations over coffee or dinner that are so productive.

    It is only by maintaining a trusting relationship with experienced researchers that young scientists and academics can learn from their informal working methods and practices and form unexpected connections.

    For example, today’s researchers have long been involved in many networks at the same time, both analogue and digital. They need to be able to circulate themselves and their knowledge both digitally and analogically. Travel, especially by air, will probably be less frequent. But it will not often be possible to find a substitute for personal meetings.

  6. Stakeholder Dialogue #EURAXESS

    featured image

    In Brussels on 22 October, access FnAK was invited to present ALFRED®, its Alumni and Foreign REsearchers Directory, as part of a dialogue with EURAXESS stakeholders. It was a great opportunity to share this good practice with the national Bridgeheads Organisations of the European network.

    See attached programme and PowerPoint presentation.

  7. FnAK’s Annual Report 2018

    featured image

    The FnAK 2018 annual report can be downloaded here. (French)

    Today’s young researchers belong to generation Y (or millennial). They were born between 1980 and 2000 and possess qualities that predispose them to research careers: access to information is child’s play for them, they have team spirit, are well educated, motivated and enterprising, as long as the pressure of work can be combined with their many external interests.

    In a context where mobility and research stays play an increasingly important role in the lives of researchers, the level of their research team and their professional success will increasingly depend on their participation in large-scale projects. For host institutions, this means valuing their best researchers and their participation in high-level projects, initiating future-oriented research areas, being open to new disciplines and promoting new forms of publication.

    Institutional membership and physical presence will lose their importance, to the benefit of job security, equality and independence in the research system. To make an institution more attractive, the resources allocated will of course be decisive. Those who can adopt this new approach will be in the best position to attract the best international talent.

    In terms of supporting the scientific career, this paradigm shift is fortunately well understood on both sides of the Atlantic. This is also true for those who belong to the lost generation of scientists, the majority, who will not get a permanent position in research.

    However, careers outside academia are just as valuable, and those who supervise doctoral and post-doctoral students must provide them with an exit plan and take responsibility for preparing them to non-academic careers. It is therefore essential for institutions to have data on the number of university jobs available at each level and to indicate a perspective to each departing scientist.

    What may indeed seem like a loss for the academic world can still prove to be an enormous gain for society… Thus the surveys carried out in France with doctoral schools on the professional future of doctors (employability, training) must be completed by an approach that favours career development, the attractiveness of the European Research Area and the development of researchers.

    There is a real interest in linking the two approaches and developing their complementarity: from thesis preparation to post-doctoral work or even beyond, then from employability to career development and support.

  8. FnAK celebrates 25 years of commitment for mobile researchers

    featured image

    Improving the reception conditions for high-level foreign scientists coming to work in France, maintaining contact with them after their return to their country. 25 years ago, these were the missions that Prof. Guy Ourisson entrusted to the Alfred Kastler National Foundation that he had just created.

    Legal monitoring and expertise, the EURAXESS network, the ALFRED directory, the observatory of scientific mobility and a continuous dialogue with decision-makers contribute to making one of its most cherished dreams come true.

  9. FnAK Annual Report 2017

    featured image

    The continuous arrival of asylum seekers at the gates of Europe, Brexit, the countries dragged along in its wake and the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States make you doubt the existence of knowledge and research without borders. The crisis of confidence affecting the old continent calls into question the very principles of migration management. It represents an unprecedented challenge for our administrations, our governments or for a common approach of the European Union.
    We are therefore still a long way from being done with the incessant revision of regulations relating to mobility – whether or not it is professional – or with the accumulation of related European and national legal texts. Thus the expertise of FnAK and the Euraxess network, relating to academic mobility, will still be in demand, as was the case in 2017 with the reception of Syrian, Turkish or Afghan refugees with the PAUSE programme.
    Faced with these new challenges, which are being declined for FnAK at regional and national levels (Far East and metropolitan France), the development of the ALFRED®[1] system is a real encouragement. First because the increase in listings in our directory remains significant (+18.7% in 2017), then because of the projected development of the following platforms :

    • Host convention, with the integration into the software of the regulatory process that allows institutions to invite and then host researchers from third countries. All those involved in the process of welcoming these researchers will benefit from this new process, from the research teams to the Prefectures, via the Euraxess Centres, university services and organisations;
    • One-stop shop, on which universities will be able to support their own reception platforms at the start of the academic year, during which they welcome more than half of their public in international mobility. This is an exclusive development for the Grand-Est region, which FnAK will adapt to the constraints of each university;
    • Scientific career, in cooperation with the Bernard Gregory Association, whose field of expertise is this, as well as with the most advanced research organizations in this field. The development of this platform will aim to put the latter in touch with researchers in mobility to recruit the best talent.

    In the long term, the national deployment of these new platforms integrated into ALFRED®, complementary to the housing platform on which several Euraxess Centres already rely, should guarantee a complete range of services to support researchers on their way to France.
    For these various developments, FnAK will first have to take up the challenge of adapting ALFRED® to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDR), wanted by the European Union to increase the protection of persons concerned by the processing of their personal data. We really see this regulatory obligation as an opportunity, since it will enable us to match our working tools to our professional ethics, in accordance with the defence of the human person so dear to Alfred Kastler.

    Our 2017 Annual Report can be downloaded here. Find there the mobility observatory, with the figures of the European Union, those of the Ministry of the Interior, those of Euraxess and access&ss FnAK, and the usual headings.

    [1] ALumni and Foreign REsearchers Directory

  10. 2017 Review of host regions for scientific mobility

    featured image

    Last year, the software enabled us to support more than 12,000 researchers in mobility, in the heart of each of our regions

     20 548 Services provided by 69 Euraxess experts

  11. 4th Scientific Council of acc&ss FnAK

    featured image

    At the Institut de France on 21 March, with the Ministries and local authorities concerned, this 4th meeting enabled progress to be made on the Conditions for recruiting researchers in mobility and on the conditions for accompanying their stay & career.

  12. Rapport annuel FnAK 2016

    featured image

    Our 2016 annual report can be downloaded here. Find here the mobility observatory, with figures from the European Union, the Ministry of the Interior, Euraxess and FnAK, and the usual sections.

  13. ALFRED nouveau

    featured image

    Thanks to Juan et Jean, ALFRED* is developing and contributing to the professionalization of the Euraxess network, for a real time accompaniment of mobile researchers in France, for their accommodation, their formalities, their adaptation and that of their families to their new environment; for a smooth landing in our Universities and Research Organizations.

    *Alumni and Foreign REsearchers Directory

  14. 3rd Scientific Coucil acc&ss FnAK

    featured image

    Thanks to the French Academy of Sciences, this 3rd meeting took place at the Institut de France, a stone’s throw from the famous dome. Some twenty participants from the Ministries concerned with the mobility of researchers and the recruitment of the best talents, Research Organizations, Universities and local authorities gave an update on the most recent strategic issues.

  15. FnAK’s Annual Report 2014

    featured image

    Our annual report can be donwnloaded here (French).

  16. acc&ss FnAK, Scientific Council, 20th Anniversary

    featured image

    As part of the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris, FnAK became acc&ss FnAK and established its scientific council in Strasbourg, Alsace, celebrating its 20th anniversary at the Council of Europe.

  17. Cooperation with CNRS to provide its international magazine

    featured image

    Collaboration with the CNRS to keep in touch with foreign scientists after they have left France. The CNRS international magazine is sent to thousands of them.

  18. Legal coopération to transpose the researcher’s directive

    featured image

    Collaboration between FnAK, the French Ministries and the European Commission to transpose into French law the European Directive on foreign researchers (itself inspired by the French RESEDA Law). Monitoring of its implementation by the EURAXESS network and the préfectures.

  19. ERA-MORE becomes EURAXESS, CPU takes over FnAK

    featured image

    As agreed between both institutions, CPU is taking over FnAK and is now coordinating the French network, renamed EURAXESS by the European Commission.

  20. AFII: Creation by FnAK of an observatory on mobility

    featured image

    Based on the network coordinated by FnAK, the government agency AFII, which promotes international investment in France, created an observatory to collect statistics on the mobility of foreign scientists.