DFG North America at the virtual European Career Fair

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ECF 2021

© ECF 2021

(3/31/21) The European Career Fair (ECF), organized by the European Club of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was held on a virtual platform this year due to the coronavirus. This resulted in both much wider geographical coverage without increased CO2 emissions from air travel and a somewhat lower level of intensity as compared to the very successful live events of previous years. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) arranged for a number of German higher education institutions to participate in the virtual trade fair. In addition, it set up an exhibition stand together with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) and the German Research Foundation (DFG) under the banner of the initiative “Research in Germany: Land of Ideas,” (a campaign overseen by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, or BMBF). During the day of the fair on 27 February, staff from the AvH, DAAD, and DFG were on hand in numerous virtual discussion rooms for those seeking advice on career opportunities in Germany, the funding programs available to them, and general questions regarding life as a researcher in Germany. The advice on offer was well utilized, thanks to the broader coverage enabled by the virtual format.

Immediately following the ECF, the German Academic International Network (GAIN) and the DAAD hosted their now traditional information session for international doctoral students and post-docs interested in a research stay in Germany. Here, after a welcome by the German Consul General in Boston, virtual round tables addressed the issues of “why,” “where,” and “how to finance,” whereby the two sessions supervised by the DFG focused on the various programs promoting early career researchers and early research independence.

Even though the ECF and the subsequent information session were equally successful in virtual form, the aim for next year is to hold a meeting that at least partly involves physical attendance along with some virtual aspects.