Come to France: acc&ss FnAK supports mobile researchers and their hosts
Researchers visiting France are not left out in the rain when it comes to making their stay as pleasant and rewarding as possible: The Alfred Kastler National Foundation (FnAK) is there to support them before and during their stay.
by Dr. Antony Mauvais, Secretary General of FnAK
The Alfred Kastler National Foundation (FnAK) is an info and support hub for foreign researchers coming to France, including PhD students. Its two principal aims are to help foreign high level scientific visitors have productive and pleasant stays in France, and to maintain a direct contact with them once they have returned home.
FnAK’s activity is based on the ideas of academic mobility, access to knowledge and cultural exchange, keeping a humanist perspective and working towards the ultimate goal of international cooperation that was dear to Alfred Kastler.
FnAK was founded in 1993 by the French Academy of Sciences. In 2002, it became part of the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris (CiuP). It is modeled along the lines of the Foundation Alexander von Humboldt in Germany but does not provide grants or other financial assistance to foreign scientists.
acc&ss FnAK is financed by the French government and the former Alsace region local authorities. Its headquarters are located in Strasbourg; its work, however, extends all over France.
acc&ss FnAK at a glance
FnAK is active in three different fields:
- Legal expertise and watch: supporting visitors in terms of immigration and residence issues, social security, taxes, pension rights etc., in close cooperation with the ministries concerned. acc&ss FnAK answers thousands of requests every year!
- Attendance and support of visiting researchers: introducing ALFRED© (ALumni and Foreign REsearchers Directory) a system shared with Euraxess France, to help incoming researchers find accommodation, sort out formalities, and similar issues – a major asset for the French host network of visiting scholars
- National observatory and council on scientific mobility: support and advice for the recruitment of highly qualified researchers and career guidance, in cooperation with the ministries concerned and with International relations and HR experts
Any research visitor at Ph.D. level or higher, coming to work in France for more than one month, can benefit from acc&ss FnAK’s services, regardless of his/her nationality, field of study, funding scheme or host institution. Any French employer or host can also benefit from these services, regardless of their status or the status of their guest.
Such an extensive involvement gives FnAK an original and unique perspective that is independent from the usual administrative limitations.
Where to start?
To take advantage of the many offers acc&ss FnAK has specially negotiated for foreign researchers, these can register online free of charge as soon as possible and even before their arrival in France. It is better to anticipate problems than having to deal with them unprepared!
FnAK has also launched the EURAXESS France network. Visiting researchers are invited to contact their local EURAXESS service center for any questions regarding their stay (housing, assistance with administrative formalities, opening a bank account, health insurance, French classes, cultural events and more).