The development of a dynamic research community is dependent on a good basis for recruitment. Activities to motivate talented young people to choose a career in research are extremely important, as is a concerted effort to increase the proportion of women in research. In addition, it is necessary to encourage highly-qualified researchers from other countries to come and work in Norway.
Inadequate recruitment to higher education and researcher training may severely jeopardise the future of the research community. The present level of recruitment of Norwegian researchers is too low in relation to the research policy objectives that have been established.
The Research Council wishes to encourage those who have pursued a research-oriented education to continue on as practicing researchers. Thus, it is important to make every effort to facilitate the transition from educational to occupational activity.
The Research Council has drafted a national strategy for strengthening basic research in mathematics, science and technology subjects. The ability to create a competitive industrial sector is contingent on the availability of highly trained candidates in these fields.
Key measures outlined in the strategy include promoting greater interest in the science subjects among children, adolescents and teachers; further developing systems for recruitment at all levels of the research system and increasing the number of women researchers in particular, and providing a sound economic framework for specially qualified research groups.
Children and young people
New researcher talent needs to be cultivated at a young age, and an interest in a particular field of study is often sparked long before a student embarks on a higher education programme. Important choices have to be made in the transition from lower to upper secondary education, and it is vital that measures to stimulate or maintain an interest in research are available at this level of the educational system.
An action plan providing guidelines for the Research Council's activities for children and young people is under preparation. This plan will contain proposals for specific measures to be implemented during the 2007-2010 period.
Recruitment of researchers from abroad
Researcher exchange with other countries is a key factor in enhancing the capacity and expertise of the Norwegian research community as well as open the door to international research arenas. Norwegian research institutions are eager to host well-qualified researchers from abroad, and use measures such as the Norwegian section of ERA-MORE, the European network of researcher mobility portals, in their recruitment activities. A comprehensive international scholarship programme has also been established to support recruitment efforts.
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