Two days in Pisa spent discussing shared projects, research and mobility of early stage and more mature researchers: on 1-2 March the University of Pisa hosted the second international plenary meeting of Europlata, an Erasmus Mundus mobility network, which allows PhD candidates, post-doctoral researchers and staff of Argentine universities to come to Europe to study and conduct their research at the European partners' institutions.
The 18 delegates of the foreign universities were greeted in the "Sala dei Mappamondi" by the Rector, Prof. Massimo Augello, the Pro-rectors Profs. Alessandra Guidi and Marco Guidi and by the coordinator of the programme on behalf of the University of Pisa, Prof. Ann Katherine Isaacs.
The 15 partners in the Consortium include 7 prestigious European institutions, protagonists of the on-going innovation processes in the European Higher Education Area: Groningen (the project coordinator), Coimbra, Deusto (Bilbao), Krakow, Göttingen and Strasbourg, as well as the University of Pisa. The Argentine universities which are members of the Consortium are the National Universities of San Juan, Río Negro, San Martín, Lanús, La Plata, Santiago del Estero, the Universidad Nacional del Litoral and the Universidad Nacional del Sur.
In addition to mobility – several fellows have already come to the University of Pisa and others will be selected by the Consortium during the present meeting – Europlata aims to identify and map the obstacles to mobility of Argentine researchers to our continent, and to find effective ways to ensure compatibility, comparability and academic recognition for the research and study periods spent in Europe.
The project is financed for 48 months by the European Commission, thanks to the "Action 2" strand of the Erasmus Mundus programme. Europlata foresees the arrival in the European host universities of doctoral candidates (who receive mobility scholarships for 6 or 18 months), of doctoral candidates tout court (grants for 32 months), post-doctoral research (grants for 6 and 10 months) and for visits (one month) of the academic staff. The researchers, "early stage" (i.e. doctoral candidates) and also more advanced in their career, come from other Argentine universities – not members of the Consortium -- as well. The grants for mobility are given in four areas: Economics, Political Sciences, Sociology and Law (Public Administration).