Understanding barriers to international mobility for researchers
Sep 18, 2018
This report documents a survey of 2,465 researchers from 109 countries on the patterns, enablers, obstacles and outcomes of international movement. Over three quarters of respondents had moved to live in another country during their career. Nearly all respondents said research benefits from international movement — helping form collaborations and develop ideas, skills and expertise, but also presenting challenges on a personal level.
A survey of researchers by the Together Science Can campaign
|PDF file||4.2 MB|
|PDF file||1.8 MB|
RAND Europe conducted a survey of researchers worldwide on their experiences with visiting or relocating to other countries for research-related purposes. The survey covered 2,465 respondents from 109 countries. It was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust on behalf of the international Together Science Can campaign, and supports the campaign's work to celebrate and protect international collaboration in science.
Over three quarters of respondents had moved to live in another country for research training or work at some point during their career. More senior researchers tend to travel more frequently. Nearly all respondents stated that research benefits from researchers visiting or moving to other countries. They perceived that international movement had helped in forming collaborations and developing ideas, skills and expertise, but can also present challenges on a personal level. Reported barriers to international movement included access to funding, family responsibilities, lack of information about jobs abroad and visa-related obstacles. Respondents who were nationals of African and Asian countries generally encountered more obstacles to international movement than those from North America and Europe.
Discussion and reflections
Comparison of survey demographics with population-level data
The research described in this report was prepared for the Together Science Can and Wellcome Trust and conducted by RAND Europe.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.