Researcher s Guide to AUSTRIA. Welcome to Austria! Willkommen in Österreich! - PDF

Researcher s Guide to AUSTRIA Welcome to Austria! Willkommen in Österreich! If you are a researcher planning your next stay in Austria, look here for career opportunities and find relevant information

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Researcher s Guide to AUSTRIA Welcome to Austria! Willkommen in Österreich! If you are a researcher planning your next stay in Austria, look here for career opportunities and find relevant information and assistance Acknowledgements: Editor and Publisher: OeAD (Österreichische Austauschdienst)-Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD-GmbH) 1010 Vienna Ebendorferstraße 7 Head Office: Vienna FN k Commercial Court Vienna DVR ATU Edited by: KIM Communication - Information - Marketing T F Responsible for the content & editorial team: Izeta Dzidic, Sonja Heintel, Julia Tschelaut, Maria Unger Proofreading: Irmgard Schmoll Layout: Maria Unger Printed by: Gerin GmbH & Co KG Vienna, November 2013 The copyright for the pictures used in this guide lies with the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology. Produced within the project EURAXESS T.O.P. and financially supported by the European Commission. Introduction There are very important things one has to think about when coming to a foreign country. This guide wants to support you and your family to get a good start in Austria. It provides information about Austria in general but will also give you a general idea of the legal basis of entry and residence regulations, taxation and social security. This guide provides information especially for scientific (academic) teachers or researchers and their families. This Researcher s Guide will be available for download (.pdf) on the website of EURAXESS Austria: Content 1 About Austria The Research & Development Landscape of Austria R&D Policy Development (Science Policy, Science System, R&D Structure) Research Organisations in Austria Research Funding - Austrian Database for Scholarships and Research Grants Higher Education in Austria Universities and Universities of the Arts University Training Courses/University Level Courses (Universitätslehrgänge) Private Universities Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS, Fachhochschulen) University Colleges of Teacher Education Entry and residence regulations Nationals of EU/EEA countries and Swiss Nationals of other countries ( third countries ) After entry (Registration) Working in Austria Taxation Social Security in Austria Health Insurance Accident Insurance Pension Insurance Unemployment Insurance Social Security and Stipends Accommodation Housing Education Overview of the Austrian Educational System Recognition of Qualifications Learning German Childcare Intellectual Property Rights EURAXESS Researchers in Motion EURAXESS Austria EURAXESS Jobs posts from Austria The Network of EURAXESS Service Centres Charter & Code Austrian organisations Contact Annex Required documents References... 38 1 About Austria Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a federal republic with a parliamentary democracy. It is a landlocked country in Central Europe which borders Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. Austria consists of nine federal provinces (Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Upper Austria, Vorarlberg and Vienna) with their own provincial governments. The capital city is Vienna. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and joined the European Union in 1995 and is also one of the Euro and Schengen countries. Looking back on a long and eventful history, the origins of modern Austria date back to the ninth century, when the countryside of Upper and Lower Austria became increasingly populated. In an official document from 996 the name Ostarrichi is first documented. Since then this word has developed into the German word Österreich. Austria today is a wealthy, stable and prosperous nation in the heart of Europe with about 8.5 million inhabitants. Because of its rich cultural past and present, for its beautiful landscape as well as a dynamic and innovative economy, Austria is being appreciated throughout the world as a cultural nation, travel destination and to conduct business. Further information Austrian National Tourist Office: Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs: Austrian economic chambers: 2 2 The Research & Development Landscape of Austria 2.1 R&D Policy Development (Science Policy, Science System, R&D Structure) Science Policy (as set out in the Programme of the Austrian Federal Government Together for Austria and the Researchers Report, Country Profile: Austria) The Federal Government considers the development and harnessing of new knowledge to be a core mission which will benefit the future prospects. Research carried out in the country s universities, universities of applied sciences, research centres outside universities, in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and in industry makes an important contribution to solving social challenges while ensuring competitiveness, economic growth and jobs. The Government s innovation-driven research policy will strive for networked access that is based on the cooperation of all players and which takes into account the diverse interactions between the generation of knowledge and its use within and outside the research world. The Federal Government is aware that a successful research policy can only continue to succeed if the various measures of the different players complement one another and are directed towards a common goal. The Federal Government proposes to set itself the goal of increasing the country s research ratio to 3 % of the GDP by 2010 and to 4 % by Regarding the Innovation Union Scoreboard it would like to see Austria promoted from the group of innovation followers to the league of innovation leaders, thus making the Republic one of the most innovative countries in the European Union. Therefore the Federal Government developed the Strategy for Research, Technology and Innovation of the Austrian Federal Government Realising potentials, increasing dynamics, creating the future - Becoming an Innovation Leader in It defines Austria s strategic and operational goals, sets priorities and includes support measures for the promotion of research, technology and innovation. The European Research Area (ERA) is an important reference for the Austrian Research, Technology and Innovation policy. In order to establish Austria s university and extramural research institutions as well as its companies among Europe s leaders the Federal Government wants to optimise the participation of the country s enterprises and research institutes in the 7th EU framework programme and the upcoming HORIZON Existing co-operations with global frontrunners shall be intensified and new ways of cooperating in the RTI field sought with the world s most dynamic scientific and economic regions. Furthermore, the Austrian Government has compiled the National Action Plan for Researchers as a response to the European Commission Communication Better careers and more mobility: A European Partnership for Researchers. The Communication calls for a three-year partnership between member states and the European Commission with the objective of ensuring a sufficient number of researchers in Europe. The Austrian Action Plan for Researchers lists fields of action in this regard, sets measures aimed at training enough researchers to reach its R&D targets, promotes attractive employment conditions in public research institutions and addresses gender issues. It aims at achieving progress in the following areas: 3 - Open and competitive recruitment of researchers as well as cross-border portability of research grants; - Social security and supplementary pension needs of researchers; - Attractive employment and working conditions for researchers; - Enhancing the training, skills and experiences of researchers; - Efforts to raise and retain interest in science and research in pupils and young people. In science and research foreign experience and international networking are significant success factors for individual career paths. By 2020 every second higher education graduate should therefore be able to demonstrate at least one period of residence abroad. Furthermore, the government wants to see more women in top positions, on boards, panels and committees. The promotion of young scientists and women during their educational and professional careers, throughout the scientific sector (especially in engineering and natural sciences), must be pursued more intensively. If you are further interested in the Austrian policies regarding researchers and research careers, please refer to the Researchers Report, Country Profile: Austria 4 2.1.2 Structure of the Austrian Research and Science System (according to the ERAWATCH National profile of Austria) Structure of the Austrian Research and Science System Source: ERAWATCH ( &subsection=strresearchsystem) Acronyms used in the chart: Policy Level BMF: Federal Ministry of Finance BMWFJ: Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth BMVIT: Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology BMWF: Federal Ministry of Science and Research Operational Level AWS: Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH FFG: Austrian Research Promotion Agency FWF: Austrian Science Fund CDG: Christian Doppler Society ÖNB: Austrian National Bank ERP-Fond: European Recovery Programme Fund Performers WIFO: Austrian Institute of Economic Research IHS: Institute of Advanced Studies ACRI: Austrian Cooperative Research Institutes CD-Labs: Christian Doppler Laboratories 5 Policy level Three ministries are responsible for research and technology at the policy level in Austria: the Ministry of Science and Research (BMWF), the Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT), and the Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth (BMWFJ). The Ministry of Finance (BMF) allocates the financial resources. There are two advisory bodies at the policy level, the Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development ( and the Austrian Science Board ( The Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development advises the government in all matters related to research, technology and innovation. The Austrian Science Board is the main advisory body in all university-related matters to the Federal Ministry of Science and Research, the parliament and the universities. Operational level Three main funding agencies, the FWF (Austrian Science Fund), FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency) and the AWS (Austria Wirtschaftsservice) manage the funding for research, technology development and innovation on behalf of the ministries. The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is Austria's central funding organisation for basic research. The purpose of the FWF is to support the ongoing development of Austrian science and basic research at a high international level. In this way the FWF makes a significant contribution to cultural development, to the advancement of our knowledge-based society, and thus to the creation of value and wealth in Austria ( The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) is the national funding institution for applied industrial research in Austria. The FFG offers a comprehensive range of services for Austrian enterprises, research institutions and researchers from the management of public funding programmes to consulting services in all phases of technology development and innovation, from support for integration into European research programmes and networks to the promotion of Austria s interests at the European and the international level ( austria wirtschaftsservice (aws) is Austria s national promotional bank. aws offers a broad range of company-specific investment promotion programmes and services, such as financial assistance and consultancy for companies, from the pre-seed phase up to the expansion stage. We offer Austrian companies financial assistance in the form of loans, guarantees, grants and/or equity as well as consultancy services ( Research performers Universities and the business sector are the biggest research performers. Due to several targeted promotion programmes the scope and share of research carried out by non-university research institutes has increased in recent years whereas the private non-profit sector accounts for a very small share. 6 2.2 Research Organisations in Austria The Austrian research landscape is highly diverse and differentiated. It consists of universities, nonuniversity research establishments and enterprises. Austria has 22 public universities which all enjoy full legal capacity, 13 private universities and 21 universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulen), while approximately 2,000 enterprises are involved in research, including multinational corporations with headquarters in Austria. While the universities play an outstanding role with their dual responsibility for basic research and scientific training, the focus of the non-university research institutes is normally directed towards the application of knowledge but in many cases they also make important contributions to basic knowledge. According to the latest forecasts of Statistics Austria 8.96 bn will be spent on research and development (R&D) in 2013 in Austria. Compared with 2012 the total amount of the Austrian Gross Expenditure on R&D (GERD) will rise by 2.9 % and reach 2.81 % of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) % of total R&D expenditure will be financed by business, 40.4 % will be contributed by the public sector, 15.2 % will be financed from abroad and 0.5 % by the private non-profit sector. All scientific topics are represented in the Austrian research landscape, particularly since the public universities, which still account for most of the research done in Austria, support a broad variety of disciplines. Natural and technical sciences are generally very well established in both public and private research sectors. Many Austrian research institutions, such as the prestigious universities of technology of Vienna and Graz, are, among others, internationally renowned for state-of-the-art fields of research such as quantum optics and nanotechnology. Life Science is also well established, represented by approximately ten public universities that focus extensively on biomedical research, foremost universities in Vienna, Graz, Salzburg and Innsbruck. Additionally several clusters for biomedical research with reputable research facilities exist, augmented by more than 100 biotech companies, mainly located in Vienna, Tyrol and Styria. Austria not only has a long history in hard science but also in social sciences and humanities, beginning at the turn of the last century (the times of the famous Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud). This is very much reflected in the current landscape, by a broad variety of institutions in both the public and private sector actively doing research in this particular field of science. The following section provides a short overview of the Austrian research landscape. Divisions and classifications of research institutions are neither authoritative nor exhaustive. Further information Statistics Austria: Research and development (R&D), innovation A detailed list of all Austrian research organisations can be found on the website of EURAXESS Austria: 7 2.3 Research Funding - Austrian Database for Scholarships and Research Grants The Austrian Database for Scholarships and Research Grants is the most comprehensive online database in Austria concerning all research areas. Inner-Austrian grant options for students, graduates and researchers as well as incoming (to Austria) and outgoing (from Austria to...) grants are collected in this database. Moreover, research allowances, prizes and other funding opportunities can be found. Information is given including details of application conditions (application deadline and place) as well as of duration, allocation and financing of each grant. The continuous updating of the database is undertaken both by the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD-GmbH) and directly by grant-awarding institutions. This guarantees that available information is always up to date. This bilingual (DE, EN) database has been financed by funds of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research and the EU. Further information Austrian Database for Scholarships and Research Grants: For personal assistance please contact the EURAXESS Service Centre: 8 3 Higher Education in Austria In Austria there is a wide variety of institutions of tertiary education. Since 1993 Austria also has universities of applied sciences (UAS, Fachhochschulen) in addition to public and private universities. The postsecondary sector also includes the university colleges of teacher education. The common language of instruction is German, an increasing number of programmes is offered in English, see: Further information Website Study in Austria : Full list of Austrian study programmes: Website Brochure Study Guide (Download at Brochure Higher Education Institutions : Overview of the study options as well as contact addresses of all Austrian universities, universities of applied sciences, university colleges of teacher education and private universities (Download at Downloads Publications Incoming). Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Austria (AQ Austria): 3.1 Universities and Universities of the Arts Apart from the classical universities, which offer a wide variety of disciplines, there are a number of specialised universities as well as a university centre for postgraduate education. Austria's six universities of the arts offer programmes in music and drama or in the visual arts and design. To study at a university of the arts you usually have to sit an entrance examination. Academic calendar The academic year in Austria begins on October 1 st and ends on September 30 th of the following year. It consists of: winter semester (October 1 st to January 30 th ), summer semester (March 1 st to September 30 th ) and periods during which no lectures are held (Christmas, semester and summer breaks). Exceptions from this schedule are possible; please inquire at the educational institution of your choice. Structure of study programmes In the last few years the Austrian university system has introduced the European three-tier system of degrees according to the Bologna process. Besides, the old two-tier system still exists in some subjects and universities (for example medicine). 9 a) Bachelor and master study programmes Most degree programmes are divided into 1. bachelor studies, which conclude with the degree of Bachelor. ECTS credits: 180 (in special cases, 240) 2. master studies, which require the successful completion of a bachelor study programme and conclude - like the traditional diploma studies mentioned above with the academic degree of Master. ECTS credits: at least 120 b) Doctoral studies (Dr./PhD) Doctoral studies are based on the successful completion of diploma or master degree programmes and are conceived to demonstrate the ability of autonomous research. They conclude with the degree of Doktor(in) or PhD. Duration: at least 3 continuous years without the award of ECTS credits. c) Traditional diploma programmes These programmes conclude with the award of a degree: Magistra or Magister in most disciplines or Diplomingenieur(in) for engineers. Duration: 4-6 years. Further information Universities Austria (uniko): Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMWF): 3.2 University Training Courses/University Level Courses (Universitätslehrgänge) University training/level courses are further education courses at universities. There are various levels (undergraduates postgraduates). Very often they last 2-4 semesters. The content
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