The new 2016 Job Plan adopted by the European Commission includes a budget of 1,67 billion Euros to boost research in Europe, and Italy is doing its best to boost its research skills and cooperation thanks to this package.
In particular, the European Council for Research (ECR) has issued a new call ("Starting Grant") for applications, devoted to researchers from every nationality.
As usual, the European institution aims at identifying excellent professionals to conduct 5-year projects within the European Union (EU). Financial support could be available for researchers of every age and sector, social sciences included.
Worth mentioning is that applications are assessed exclusively considering their scientific value and potential. Usually, well-known international professionals are part of the commission. Moreover, the ECR uses a bottom-up approach, having its target group - namely researchers - to identify new possibilities for research in several fields to be yet explored.
Participants should have from 2 up to 7 years of experience in research (after the completion of the PhD) and will be able to apply until the deadline, scheduled for the 17th November 2015.
There are other calls within the Job Plan 2016. For instance, a new call for "Stabilization" will be launched on the 15th October 2015, targeting researchers who are in the middle of their career. The deadline is February 2nd 2016. Another example is the call for "Advanced Subsidies" for Chiefs Researchers, whose deadline is the 24th May 2016.
In addition, those who already have ERC's funding can apply for the "Proof of Concept", as a complementary source of income to support new ideas generated form ERC projects.
The good news is that the candidature requirements have soften a little bit. Nonetheless, great attention is always devoted to the scientific value of the project, along with its ethics and integrity.
A lot of Italian universities are quite competitive in several subjects, where researchers from around the world would be the most welcome. Milan, Bologna, Rome, Florence, Venice are just a few beautiful cities where international researchers consider to approach to deepen their studies and researches. Competitive teams in basically all subjects will be happy to welcome and work with them.