You have been awarded a research grant of $1.4 billion

“How come I haven’t been reimbursed yet?”, I wrote to the organiser. More than three months have already passed since that glorious conference in Nice. Long enough to feel the pinch on the purse, but not enough to forget this luscious city on the French Riviera.  And with a poster like that, how could anyone  resist such an invitation? OK, I am sorry to have missed the external review of the Faculty of Science and that they had to read the strategic plan without my help! Then came my friend’s response, much more startling than I had expected: “Le délai est en effet anormal. Espérons que ce n’est pas la faillite de l’Euro(pe) qui est en cause.” UhOh!

Is France now defaulting on its scientists? My twisted mind started calculating or was it re-calculating? How do we turn this into an opportunity?  I then remembered what a former NSERC president had told me when I mentioned that the UK’s granting agency EPRSC decided to only fund postdocs in applied probability and statistics. “What would the rest do then?”, he had exclaimed. I now had the answer. Plenty of talent available for Canada!

Then, I got this email: “I am advertising two postdoctoral openings in my group at the IMATI-CNR in Pavia. Then another one: “I am advertising a postdoctoral position in my group at SISSA in Trieste. The grant will last 2 years (with a possible extension up to 4 years) and the amount paid (after taxes) will be around 3.170,00 € per month (38.040,00 € net per year). That’s after taxes! But I thought that Italy was broke.

Then came the following email:  In 2012, Inria is offering research positions :
–  20 tenured researcher and research director positions, filled on the basis of competitive calls, intended for junior or senior profiles wanting to invest in medium or long-term research; – 8 research positions consisting of three-year renewable contracts for innovative international profiles: starting positions (after the thesis or a post-doctoral experience) or advanced positions (at least eight years’ experience after the thesis).

This is on top of the 20 postdoctoral positions offered by The Fondation des Sciences Mathématiques de Paris. France is not in such a bad shape after all. Then I read the following bombshell.

The European Commission has selected six futuristic proposals to compete for two huge flagship projects that will apply information and communication technologies to social problems. The victors, to be decided at the end of 2012, expect to receive an unprecedented level of funding for academia: €1 billion (US$1.4 billion) over ten years. Each project will now receive €1.5 million for a one-year feasibility study.

OK! I rest my case. In the meantime, I hope the links above will be of some help to Canadian math graduate students looking for good postdoctoral experience. There are many more on the webpage of the European Mathematical Society.  That was the main reason for this post in the first place.

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