Last month, FRISBEE coordinator Graciela Alvarez and 11 other selected researchers spent time in Brussels as part of the MEP-scientist pairing scheme, organised by the Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment office.


Each researcher followed an MEP’s daily activities, after hearing some presentations from parts of the European Commission and Parliament that are involved in science policy. The MEPs will later visit the scientists in their labs GPAN in Antony for the job swap’s second leg.

 

The pairing scheme was tried out before with the Commission, in 2007 and 2008. For this third iteration, STOA has tried a conscious effort to better match the areas of expertise of the scientists and the MEPs’ interests. For instance, Graciela Alavarez was paired with Julie Girling and with Marinna Yannakoudakis two Conservatives Reformist MEP from UK with an interest in, Food Safety and women's rights and environmental policy.

 

STOA's goal was not just to pair MEPs and scientists for the duration of the scheme, but to establish lasting links. That is the reason why they selected scientists are mid-career researchers, at least 10 years away from retirement.

 

STOA has a yearly budget of €650,000 and eight staff members. In addition to the job swap, it organises events and commissions research on issues ranging from transport and nanotechnology, through to copyright policy.

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