Academic Finns Abroad – Challenges of International Mobility and the Research Career

NameWG4 R Academic Finns Abroad.pdf
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Year2007
Author(s)Jussi Kulonpalo
Abstract
The report presents a survey on the motivating and discouraging factors of Finnish
researchers’ international mobility and recent general trends of researcher mobility in
Finland. Special attention is paid to young researchers as well as to researchers with a family
and the specifi c challenges they face in relation to international mobility and pursuing a
research career in Finland.
The statistical analysis of the survey data reveals that Finnish researchers are a highly
heterogeneous group, and no signifi cant researcher mobility patterns is visible as such from
the data. The lack of general-level statistical data prevents making broad comparisons to
fi nd out whether researcher mobility in fact has been decreasing over time, as some statistics
suggest. The Finnish research sector and researchers’ career trajectories are growing
increasingly diverse, which calls for more fl exible and responsive funding instruments
and services that recognise researchers’ individual needs. Accordingly, from the individual
researcher’s point of view, the available research funding instruments for international
mobility do not always meet the researcher’s needs.
The study shows that the main challenges to Finnish researchers’ international mobility
are largely family- and funding-related. Spouse employment, having children and fi nancial
matters were seen as the main obstacles to mobility by the respondents and these issues had
also caused most problems to those respondents who had been internationally mobile.
On a general level, the international mobility patterns of Finnish young researchers tend to
follow those of previous generations. The United States and western European countries
are still the most popular choices of destination for mobile Finnish researchers.
CategoriesScientific mobility