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International fellowships bring researchers to Cardiff

4 May 2016

Researchers in the Chemistry lab

Researchers from around the world have been enjoying the benefits of undertaking prestigious fellowships at Cardiff University.

The researchers have all been awarded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions fellowships, with three spending the whole duration of their fellowship at Cardiff University, and a fourth fellow undertaking a ‘Global Fellowship’ in both Cardiff and Bern, Switzerland.

The fellowships, funded by the European Commission, provide opportunities for researchers to concentrate on their research for a typical period of two years, benefitting both their research output and their reputation. The international name-recognition of the fellowships, as well as the opportunities for linking with and visiting institutions across Europe, add to their prestige.

Roberto Quaglia, a current Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow in the School of Engineering, is in no doubt about the potential benefits: “It's a great opportunity, as an experience that can be "sold" in both the academic and industrial worlds. You have the opportunity to work with the best people in your field, and focus on your research for several months, thus improving your knowledge and expertise.”

Juan Pereiro Viterbo, who is spending his fellowship in the School of Physics & Astronomy, focuses on the benefits for his research: “It is difficult to produce good research with all the other obligations one finds as an academic, and experimental physics requires long hours in the lab. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship provides flexibility in term of other obligations, as well as improving my ability to secure funding in the future.”

The fellowships are an advantage in both the short-term and the long-term, as Joe Beames, a fellow based in the School of Chemistry, points out: “In the short term, I will be able to build and develop an active research programme here at Cardiff. In the longer term, the fellowship will allow me to develop an international research profile, and an international network of potential collaborators. It will also assist future applications for funding from both UK and EU sources.”

Peter Abbott has secured a Global Fellowship, which means that he will be conducting two years of research in another country, before returning to Cardiff University for the third year of his project. His two years abroad will be spent at the University of Bern, and his year in Cardiff at the School of Earth & Ocean Sciences.

Peter will begin work this September, and he is already excited about the opportunities it will present him with: “Being awarded the Fellowship will provide me with the opportunity to lead an exciting research project, gain greater research independence and progress in my academic career, all while working with leading experts at Cardiff University and the University of Bern. These institutions are perfect hosts, providing highly supportive and world-leading research environments.”

Researchers in any field, from all parts of the European Union and at any stage of their career are eligible for the fellowships, with an emphasis placed upon those who are highly self-motivated and ambitious. The level of competition for the awards is extremely high, but for those wishing to spend their fellowship at Cardiff University, application advice is available from experienced staff in our European Office.

Our current fellows found this support very helpful to their successful applications, with Joe commenting: “The biggest piece of advice I could possibly give would be to utilise the incredible support given here at Cardiff. My application was helped immeasurably by advice from the European Research Development Officer, Debbie Taylor. However, the staff cannot help if you only approach them at the eleventh hour, so starting the process in good time is a must.”

Expressions of Interest are now being accepted for the next cycle of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. Researchers can complete the attached application form and submit it via email to Debbie Taylor ( If you are interested in applying for a Global Fellowship, or in bringing a researcher to Cardiff University for a European Fellowship, or have any other queries, please contact Debbie for further information.

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