Scientific Mobility in an Enlarging European Union
9. Summary, conclusions and policy implications The MOBEX research has sought to understand the processes shaping highly skilled, scientiﬁc, mobility. It has considered three related dimensions of ‘impact’; ﬁrst on scientists as individuals or members of families; second, on the countries concerned and ﬁnally, on what it means for Europe and the success of the European Research Area. This concluding chapter summarizes some of the key ﬁndings before considering some policy implications. PATTERNS OF SCIENTIFIC MOBILITY Analysis of patterns of mobility in the MOBEX sample indicate an increase in the level of short-term circulation both prior to longer mobility episodes and following returns. The majority of respondents in our return sample (those based in Poland and Bulgaria) were using the mechanism of repeated short stays to achieve a kind of work–life balance and sustain their scientiﬁc productivity and well-being. Even the most apparently ‘settled’ respondents in the host countries often exhibited a form of ‘shuttle return mobility’ spending repeated short stays in their home country. This circulation indicates a strong potential for return and associated collaboration and knowledge transfer should the conditions exist to support the eﬀective reintegration and retention of scientists. The short-term nature of mobility to some extent reﬂects the nature of employment positions available in the host countries. ‘Foreign’ researchers typically occupy temporary, early-career, positions even when they held more senior positions prior to moving. There was little evidence of direct recruitment of established ‘research stars’ from Bulgaria and Poland into the...
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