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University researchers recruited with stories of start-up jobs

University of Copenhagen's Trine Buhl Monty juggling university and start-up jobs at MIT European Job Fair. Foto, Stew Milner

Recruiting the best international research talents is a highly competitive game. The University of Copenhagen, Faculty of SCIENCE has discovered a new argument that can attract the best talents to research jobs at the university. They present opportunities for transforming a university research position into a start-up job in Copenhagen Science City. By Jes Andersen.

Copenhagen career options beat Boston

Trine Buhl Monty has been recruiting bright young international talents for Ph.D. positions and postdoc positions at UCPH SCIENCE for years. One of her favourite hunting grounds is at the annual MIT European Career Fair. This is an event where European companies, agencies and universities get to meet students and graduates from the world famous engineering school MIT and other US Ivy League universities.

“The American universities attract some of the best and the brightest Ph.D.’s from across the world. We can persuade them to move on to Denmark, because our subsequent career options are more varied than those in the US,” says Monty and continues:

These are ambitious people and they do care that the University of Copenhagen has the best rankings in continental EU. They do care that we have a tradition for academic independence and they especially care that we have good funding opportunities for young researchers. But they also find it comforting that we have a tradition for collaboration between industry and university which keeps career paths open for them in both domains”: Trine Buhl Monty, Senior executive of International Affairs, University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science.

Work-life-innovation balance

In March, Monty and five colleagues from the University of Copenhagen met some 200 potential candidates at a day long event. The Danish work-life balance with our five weeks of paid vacation, low cost/high quality childcare, job opportunities for spouses and an English-speaking workforce is very persuasive. So is our approach to innovation, explains Monty.

Many international talents know that there are not enough professorships to go around. They are attracted to the Danish tradition for co-creation between universities and businesses and they are amazed that there are 350 innovative start-ups within an 800-meter radius in Copenhagen Science City. I have been very surprised to learn, that we in Denmark seem to be more attuned to industry/academia collaboration than even universities in the Boston area”:Trine Buhl Monty.

Help to navigate careers outside university

Over the coming 4 years, SCIENCE hopes to attract 74 international young researchers for a programme called TALENT. One of the cornerstones of this programme is a commitment to helping candidates navigate a subsequent non-academic career. Copenhagen Science City with its network of start-up companies is an integral part of this promise.

Find interesting start-up companies to work for here…

Find six tips on how to apply for start-up jobs here…