ERASMUS–WESTERN BALKANS is a joint mobility programme offered by eight Western Balkan universities and six EU universities. Students and members of the faculty will benefit from the opportunity to study, teach and research abroad, while the participating universities will raise teaching capacities, build research expertise and gain international visibility.
The emphasis of ERAWEB is on research in medicine and health sciences. Research within ERAWEB is aimed at the factors which influence the population health and the development of possible interventions towards health improvement. The programme stimulates the development of the Western Balkan countries by raising academic skills of students, researchers and teachers.
Read more about ERAWEB
ERAWEB post-doctoral fellow, Asija Zaciragic, is currently pursuing her studies at the Epidemiology Department in Erasmus MC. Asija is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Human Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
When I was asked by kind and always supportive ERAWEB coordinators to write testimonial of my post-doc experience in the Department of Epidemiology at Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands, I decided to check out my Motivation Letter which I wrote as part of application procedure for ERAWEB scholarship. I wrote many nice things in regard to my post-doc expectations, as all of us always do, basically not knowing whether they will ever come true.
However, although my post-doc at ErasmusAGE academic center is still ongoing, under a marvelous and outstanding supervision by Prof. Dr Oscar Franco Duran, I can without any hesitation say that all of my expectations out of my stay in beautiful and friendly Rotterdam have been entirely fulfilled. I had opportunity to master statistical methods which are of extreme importance for every scientist through my participation on Erasmus Summer Programme, and I as well had a pleasure of working with great young people in Professor Franco’s team hoping that our work will result in publication of good papers.
Moreover, I learned how to conduct systematic review of literature which I believe gives an excellent opportunity for scientists in Western Balkan (WB) region to publish papers in journals with high impact factor. I also established a strong network with colleagues from the Netherlands but also WB countries which will, I am convinced, result in joint future academic and scientific cooperation.
Based on my experience so far, I would strongly suggest to students from WB region to apply to ERAWEB and other similar EU funded projects in order to broaden their horizons, expand their knowledge, master new skills so when they go back to their home countries they can make things just a little bit better. At the same time I would like to use this opportunity to invite EU students to come to Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as other WB countries. I strongly believe they will be fascinated by beauty of our surroundings and goodness of our people. EU students who come to one of our countries will be given an opportunity to conduct a research under challenging conditions. However, in my opinion, when you succeed in obtaining good results with extremely limited resources you tend to appreciate your success even more.
The ERAWEB consortium partners, headed by Professor Albert Hofman, MD PhD, NIHES Science Director, met on 28 January 2015 to evaluate the mobility results so far and to discuss other points of interest. The meeting took place in the University of Belgrade (Serbia), and participants were heartily welcomed by the Rector, Professor Nebojsa Lalic as well as the International Collaboration Coordinators Natasa Ognjanovic, Pavle Ivetic and Ivana Katic.
During the consortium meeting, all partners spent time discussing the results on the mobility, as well as the partner and alumni quality control evaluations. In the alumni evaluation, it was evident all partners provided enough support to ensure the successful start of the mobility, also that welcoming activities helped facilitate the students transition into their new academic environment. Moreover, the language barriers students once considered difficult to deal with, are becoming less of an obstacle. Housing, however, is proving the be more of an issue than students expect. To solve this, partners agreed to bring incoming students in contact with current students or alumni to bridge this problem. All things considered, partners agreed on the next steps to be taken to finalize ERAWEB I and to further improve the programme during the calls of ERAWEB II.
Another important part of the consortium meeting was to explore opportunities for sustainability actions. In the alumni evaluations all alumni showed strong ambitions to actively aid in an ERAWEB alumni association to contribute to the sustainability of the programme through their valuable network. Partners were also enthusiastic to focus on sustainability efforts. As one of the partners indicated “there has been a disconnection for such a long time, ERAWEB is now bridging that gap – not only scientifically, but politically and geographically as well”.
ERAWEB consortium partners
During that week, Professor Hofman and Professor Henning Tiemeier were guest professors at the University of Belgrade (Serbia) where they gave a course in Clinical Epidemiology. This course was open to all students and staff interested in joining.
Professor Hofman and Professor Tiemeier gave a course in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Belgrade
The ERAWEB Call for Applications 2015 is open until the 18th of March, 2014.
Unique opportunity for an international research career in medicine and the health sciences.
ERAWEB, the European network of leading medical schools, is offering another term of scholarships for academic exchange between the European Union and the Western Balkans at five academic levels: undergraduate, Master’s, doctorate and post-doctorate students, and also for academic staff. From 1 to 36 months.
Read more about the Call for Applications 2015.
Online application will be open for registration between 6 January 2015–18 March 2015.
Spread the word: Download the ERAWEB Poster.
After combined efforts to ensure exposure of the available ERAWEB scholarships, the ERAWEB consortium can comfortably say it succeeded. ERAWEB received a record number of 242 applications, an astounding 98% more than last year, from students and staff applying for undergraduate, Masters, PhD’s, Post-Doctorate and staff positions. The growing awareness and stature surrounding the ERAWEB mobility programme is becoming more and more evident.
“We are pleased and pleasantly surprised with this year’s great number of interested applicants. Each year we notice that ERAWEB is proving to be exceedingly fruitful. Students are broadening their understandings with educational perspectives and experiences, while pursuing academic initiatives beyond the borders of ERAWEB. We are grateful we have been granted the opportunity with ERAWEB II to ensure such sustainable outcomes through these driven students.”
– Prof Albert Hofman, Science Director NIHES, ERAWEB coordinator.
Since the start of the ERAWEB project in 2011, when the consortium initially welcomed 76 participants into the programme, 232 students and staff have so far been provided the opportunity to study, teach or research abroad. After successfully completing their mobility programmes abroad, ERAWEB has enabled further development by encouraging ambitious students to pursue additional academic degrees. What is more, ERAWEB students have actively set up inspiring initiatives which have strongly encouraged professors and staff to teach and support research efforts in the Western Balkans. All ERAWEB students and staff are the product of sustained efforts with high hopes to develop this programme’s legacy to have long-lasting constructive effects on the health of populations, as well as the relations between Europe and the Western Balkans.
“I am from the first generation of ERAWEB students who received this unique opportunity to broaden my academic horizon. I started at Erasmus MC as a Master student and am now pursuing my PhD degree in Epidemiology. I learnt how to conduct epidemiological research and published my first paper. However, I feel like I have got much more than this, more than I had even hoped for: I learnt the way of the Dutch, met many nice people from all over the world , and made friendships for life. ERAWEB has been an all-round amazing experience, and has made me excited for what the future holds!”
– ERAWEB student, Anna Vitezova, PharmD, MSc
The next call for applications will open at the end of this year. ERAWEB will provide another two opportunities to apply to the mobility programme. The mobility terms for all calls will end on 14 July 2017. If you know anyone who will be interested or who would benefit from this mobility programme, make sure they connect to he ERAWEB website to stay informed on upcoming calls.