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HIS study finds high degree of internationalisation among young German researchers

The biographies and the everyday working reality of young German researchers are characterised by a high degree of internationalisation. This is the key finding of a study by the Hochschul Informations System GmbH (HIS), a social science research institute, which was published in June 2011 and commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The study is based on a survey of 5 500 early-stage researchers at universities and research centres in Germany.

According to the data, every fourth young researcher has already spent a research-related stay abroad of at least one month’s duration. Counting shorter stays, even every early-stage researchers have already been abroad. Percentages among researchers in natural sciences, social sciences and humanities are particularly high. Amongst the respondents, the majority of those young researchers who have not yet been abroad have plans for stays in the future.

About three-quarters of all young researchers are in regular contact with counterparts in foreign countries, mostly in the context of joint research projects and joint publications. Countries with which cooperation is most common are the US, France, the UK and Switzerland. The initial contact with future partners abroad is most frequently made at international conferences.

German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (in German)