Last week EMBO announced the recipients of its 2011 Installation Grants – a round of funding that supports scientists who want to relocate to a country that is currently building its fundamental research capacity. The 2011 grants, which comprise an annual award of 50,000 euros for three to five years, will enable seven scientists to set up laboratories in the Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia and Turkey.
One of the recipients, Nurhan Özlü, has returned to her home country of Turkey after spending ten years in the United States. In an EMBO podcast, she says that for a junior group leader, establishing a lab in a country that’s growing its scientific capacity has several benefits, but she also has to adapt to a developing research infrastructure. “[In the United States] all the facilities, resources and services were available and if I purchased something it arrived the next day,” she says. “[In Turkey] experiments take a lot more effort and time.”
In a Nature Careers article on the topic from 2009, the head of a lab in the Czech Republic said that while the research infrastructure was comparable to Germany and the United States, it was necessary to assemble attractive salaries from several sources of funding.
Would you trade a scientific powerhouse such as the United States for a country with a less-developed research infrastructure if it meant you could set up your own lab? Have you already done so and thrived on the opportunity? Let us know your thoughts and experiences. The next application deadline for EMBO Installation Grants is 15 April 2012.