|Customised assistance: funding offers, application preparation||Profesional & Academic Development||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Customised assistance: social integration and daily life issues (accommodation, health care providers, childcare, etc.)||Social Integration & Daily Life Language Support, Language Policy Family Matters Accommodation Safety, Healthcare & Wellbeing||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers) Internationals spouses/family members|
|Customised assistance: visa & residence permit||Visa, Residence & Work Permit||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Customised assistance: work related issues (employment, health insurance and social security, taxation, institutional duties)||Profesional & Academic Development Safety, Healthcare & Wellbeing Social security, Health Insurance, Taxation Institutional Processes||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers) Internationals spouses/family members|
|Dictionary/glossary of common phrases used in academic and institutional life||Social Integration & Daily Life Language Support, Language Policy||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|FAQs collection for support staff to share cases internally||Institutional Processes Capacity Building of Support & Management Staff||Administrative staff Management staff|
|FAQs for international PhDs/academics/family members||Social Integration & Daily Life Language Support, Language Policy Family Matters Administrative & Legal Support Accommodation Safety, Healthcare & Wellbeing Social security, Health Insurance, Taxation Visa, Residence & Work Permit||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers) Internationals spouses/family members|
|Free legal advice for international PhDs/academics||Administrative & Legal Support||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers|
|Glossary of common phrases used in welcome processes for support staff||Social Integration & Daily Life Language Support, Language Policy Profesional & Academic Development Networking Administrative & Legal Support Institutional Processes||Administrative staff|
|Induction trainíng program for new support staff||Institutional Processes Capacity Building of Support & Management Staff||Administrative staff|
|Information on recognition of education for international PhDs/staff/family members||Family Matters Administrative & Legal Support||PhD student/Early career researcher|
|Institutional fellowships to attract/retain international talent||Profesional & Academic Development||R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Institutional small grants available for international PhDs/junior academics||Profesional & Academic Development Institutional strategy||PhD student/Early career researcher|
|Inter-institutional events/study vistits/job shadowing for support staff||Capacity Building of Support & Management Staff||Administrative staff Management staff|
|Interdisciplinary summer schools||Profesional & Academic Development Promotion & Visibility||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|International scholar safety guide||Safety, Healthcare & Wellbeing||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|International scientific committee||Profesional & Academic Development||R2 - R4 researchers|
|Knowledge sharing Inter-institutional communication platform for support staff (closed group)||Institutional Processes||Administrative staff Management staff|
|Knowledge sharing intranet communication platform for support staff||Capacity Building of Support & Management Staff||Administrative staff|
|Labour market preparation for spouses||Family Matters||Internationals spouses/family members|
|Customised assistance: funding offers, application preparation||
Customised assistance ranges from providing an overview of available funding opportunities from various sources to tips for writing an application and pre-screening of application as well as assisting in finding a project team or inter-institutional project team. Individualised support will also facilitate the professional development of the academic staff and will improve communication and cooperation between the HEI’s support staff and the international academics and PhDs. Increased academic activity will influence positively the HEI’s visibility and may increase enrolment and retention of academic staff. This service requires well-trained support staff in the area of academic development, funding opportunities and procedures, and project drafting. However, writing an application is not a simple matter. It requires knowledge of the methods and techniques of creating applications.
An indispensable part of the application preparation is a thorough reading of the funding scheme documentation, e.g.call for proposals with attachments. programme thematic priorities, guidelines for applicants and project beneficiaries, funding principles, etc.. These documents describe all major information, including who can apply for a grant (i.e. eligible applicants), what grant can be obtained (grant size and total call budget), the procedure and deadline for application (when and where to submit an application), what the project evaluation criteria are, how will they be assessed, what costs are eligible, or it is possible to find the content of the future contract along with the terms of the project implementation. Before completing the application, each applicant should also check whether the instructions for its preparation have been provided. The task of the support staff is to provide support and assistance to the applicant in the process of preparing and submitting the application.
|Customised assistance: social integration and daily life issues (accommodation, health care providers, childcare, etc.)||
Customised assistance regarding social integration and daily life of incoming international PhD students, academics and their families helps to make a better experience of settling-in in a new place, whether it is finding housing, opening a bank account, finding a suitable health care provider (s), securing childcare, building a new social network, learning a foreign language and generally, getting accustomed to a new culture and way of life. It can also include information on local/regional public transportation, host city parking policy, waste collection, registering a car, bringing in a pet, etc. Various levels/intensities of service provision might be opted for based on specific needs and available resources. The service might also be helped to deliver by a trained buddy/guide.
|Customised assistance: visa & residence permit||
Customised assistance provided to international Ph.D. students, academics, and researchers that fits best their specific needs, especially regarding information that may not be readily available on the institution's website or checklist. Immigration issues are the most crucial area of support. This service requires well-trained support staff in this area, with understanding of legal issues, practical procedures and possibly also collaborations and contacts for exact expert information provision. The goal is to provide the highest level and quality of service. Various levels/intensities of service provision might be opted for based on specific needs and available resources.
|Customised assistance: work related issues (employment, health insurance and social security, taxation, institutional duties)||
This service requires well-trained support staff in the area of work-related issues such as employment, health insurance and social security, taxation, and institutional duties with a focus on a specific group of academics – international academic staff. The goal is to provide highest level and quality of the service which might also require in-house legal advice. Safety, healthcare and wellbeing are essential for good functioning and a particular challange facing guests from abroad. It can be safely assumed they would be needing assistance all the way from the simplest general information, through getting through the necessary paperwork, to personal assistance and intervention.
|Dictionary/glossary of common phrases used in academic and institutional life||
This could be a combination of a dictionary and glossary of the most common phrases and their definitions in English used in the academic and institutional life of the host institution/country. Special attention should be paid to country/region specific terms that have no actual parallel outside the host country/region, for instance, academic ranks and their hierarchy in the region of Central and South-Eastern Europe. It could be also extended by terms related to the administrative duties that need to be done shortly before or fight after arrival to or upon departure from the host country/institution. Such a tool would be of immense help to both international as well as local PhDs and academics struggling with proper vocabulary when talking to their colleagues.
|FAQs collection for support staff to share cases internally||
The FAQs platform is a practical tool for storage of practical information and good practices for processing the agenda of incoming PhD students and academics. It´s a database of standardized responses/solutions to recurring questions helping thus the support staff members efficiently navigate through administrative processes/issues they typically encounter. It is particularly useful for newcomer support staff as well as for situations occurring just sporadically. It could be part of an internal knowledge-sharing platform or any other type of intranet.
|FAQs for international PhDs/academics/family members||
The FAQ section/page with well-structured quality content organized by relevant topics/categories and easy to navigate is a useful way to organize valuable information that incoming academics often ask. The FAQ page offers a lot of benefits, including:
|Free legal advice for international PhDs/academics||
International students and researchers often face a broad variety of legal issues during their stay in a host country. Professional legal advice can be rather costly and therefore not accessible to all scholars, particularly for early stage ones. Free legal advice offered to international scholars can help resolve and prevent difficult situations that could require more time and resources, compormise their security or cause reputational damage to the institution.
|Glossary of common phrases used in welcome processes for support staff||
Preparing and circulating a Glossary of common phrases used in welcome processes for support staff and its regular update will raise support staff's awareness of the institutional processes related to welcoming incoming researchers, academics, and PhDs. It is also likely to increase the level of their confidence in dealing smoothly with the most typical needs and expectations of incoming researchers, academics, and PhD students as well as following the institutional rules at the same time.
This practice is best implemented in collaboration with the HEI management structures, the institutional legal matters office and language specialists.
It is also a good idea to consider having the Glossary multilingual rather than maintaining it in English only.
|Induction trainíng program for new support staff||
The main benefit of this practice is that this kind of training improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the support staff work. It also increases the levels of satisfaction of the end-users such as researchers in mobility, international PhD students and academic staff.
This training should be offered to all newcomer staff. It will enhance the procces of introduction to the newcomers and shorter the time for their integration.
As a result the newcomers will be able to engage in the process faster and deliver high-quality service, improving their capacity for the job.
|Information on recognition of education for international PhDs/staff/family members||
The practice includes collecting relevant information and providing it to international researchers and PhDs in a structured and user-friendly way. It is important to envisage a regular update of the information in case of changes in the legal framework, national or organisational specifics regarding recognition of diplomas, study periods, educational outcomes, etc.
This practice will save the support staff effort and time when providing information and support in view of the above.
|Institutional fellowships to attract/retain international talent||
One of the most frequent obstacles is the lack of human resources to participate in different types of research projects in the country. Attracting and retaining highly skilled researchers may help to bring new expertise and skills and also to create and maintain research and business relationships. Promoting international mobility of researchers is for the host institution and inevitable part of maintaining them later in the country which may result in overcoming labour shortages and boosting entrepreneurship in knowledge-based sectors in the host country.
|Institutional small grants available for international PhDs/junior academics||
Many universities already have a fund for small institutional grants to support their local PhD students and young researchers in developing various transferable skills (e.g., writing a project/project and financial management of own project), and in preparing future interdisciplinary, international, or cutting-edge projects. Such grants can be used to cover e.g. travel costs, attendance fees for conferences, extra publication, dissemination and science popularisation costs, extra fieldwork, extra lab costs/consumables, individual trainings, etc. Those grants could be offered also to international PhD students and young academics under the same conditions as their local peers. Information on grants should be available in English and easily foundable on the institutional website. The information could be part of the welcome package.
|Inter-institutional events/study vistits/job shadowing for support staff||
Such events are an efficient way for professionals from different HEIs to share their knowledge, exchange their experience and challenges and build contacts and trust, in other words, a community of experts. Better informed support staff, with well established professional networks, inspired by good practices of other colleagaues can provide more professional and motivated guidance.
The events may also include some training part to enhance their competencies (soft skills, intercultural, unbiased communication style), or hands-on activities how to create more internationally friendly institutional environments. The events may include several sessions where support staff participants can collaborate on small tasks and jointly innovate various services (e.g. Orientation week), and suggest new channels of communication, or define practical guidelines.
A very effective way of experiential peer learning activity through observation and exchange of knowledge is represented by study visits or job shadowing. They can typically have a cross-border character and lead to further intensification or introduction of new services at the home institution resulting in the high-level provision of assistance to mobile academics and building up professional networks.
|Interdisciplinary summer schools||
Interdisciplinary summer schools are a rather efficient way of universities and their faculties to introduce international PhD students and academic staff members to the fields of study they could offer. These summer schools could also offer a great opportunity to international PhD students and academic staff members to extend their knowledge on certain topics, introduce them to new ways of teaching certain fields of study as well as to meet new colleagues, and potentially establish connections within academic circles.
|International scholar safety guide||
The higher education institution is responsible for ensuring personal safety and security of its employees and students including international ones.
International academics might not be familiar with the surroundings and lack awareness of local risks (e.g. related to accomodation, streets at night, use of transport, health safety risks).
The objective of the international scholar safety support/guide is to provide concise English-language information about off-campus and on-campus risks and guidelines on how to act in specific situations and where to seek help.
|International scientific committee||
Transparency and reliability are one of the key factors of a successful scientific activity. The transparency can be achieved by establishing an international scientific committee responsible for supervision and verification of scientific work. Such committees can be established for the HEI’s projects or units. The committee’s work will improve the HEI’s scientific staff competencies and will be an opportunity for exchange of experiences and knowledge between the engaged institutions. Working with experts from various countries and institutions will be a way to improve communication and cooperation between the engaged institutions and will also increase the HEI’s visibility. The committee members can also be engaged in scientific staff selection and evaluation processes. The experts selection can be based on the HEI’s international partnerships and HEI’s staff personal networks.
However, the existence of such committee(s) shall respect the relevant institutional regulations and project funding agreement requirements. Nevertheless, although similar bodies might exist as part of the instututional structures, the practice might provide some inspiration about the mandates it can have.
|Knowledge sharing Inter-institutional communication platform for support staff (closed group)||
A communication platform designed to facilitate the exchange of information among staff working in various institutions that support international academics and PhD students. Knowledge sharing involves a multi-directional exchange of information resources where each institution is both a donor and a receiver of knowledge. Therefore every institution involved should have the possibility to profit from as well as contribute to the knowledge-sharing platform. A community of experts from across different HEIs and research organisations can be created via such a platform.
|Knowledge sharing intranet communication platform for support staff||
An effective tool/forum platform to build up the community of experts. The support staff members can contribute their ideas in the knowledge that will be stored-archived in shared online workplace and can be referred back to at any time. Posting issues and receiving responses will create over time a network amongst colleagues that will be actively supporting each other. It could grow to become an FAQ or Wikipedia-style resource platform for support teams involved in internationalization or even for the other HEI departments/units.
|Labour market preparation for spouses||
This practice aims to establish additional services and more systematic assistance for better integration of the spouses of international researchers for medium or long-term stay.
An integral part of the preparation of the accompanying spouses for the local labour market are local language courses or foreign language courses, in general as well as voluntary activities that could help expecially at the beginning of stay.
|Title||Importance||Scale of change||Setup cost||Setup time||Setup personnel||Delivery cost||Delivery time||Delivery personnel|
|Customised assistance: funding offers, application preparation||Important to have|
|Customised assistance: social integration and daily life issues (accommodation, health care providers, childcare, etc.)||Important to have|
|Customised assistance: visa & residence permit||Essential to have|
|Customised assistance: work related issues (employment, health insurance and social security, taxation, institutional duties)||Essential to have|
|Dictionary/glossary of common phrases used in academic and institutional life||Nice to have|
|FAQs collection for support staff to share cases internally||Important to have|
|FAQs for international PhDs/academics/family members||Essential to have|
|Free legal advice for international PhDs/academics||Nice to have|
|Glossary of common phrases used in welcome processes for support staff||Nice to have|
|Induction trainíng program for new support staff||Important to have|
|Information on recognition of education for international PhDs/staff/family members||Essential to have|
|Institutional fellowships to attract/retain international talent||Essential to have|
|Institutional small grants available for international PhDs/junior academics||Important to have|
|Inter-institutional events/study vistits/job shadowing for support staff||Important to have|
|Interdisciplinary summer schools||Important to have|
|International scholar safety guide||Important to have|
|International scientific committee||Important to have|
|Knowledge sharing Inter-institutional communication platform for support staff (closed group)||Important to have|
|Knowledge sharing intranet communication platform for support staff||Important to have|
|Labour market preparation for spouses||Nice to have|