Academic mobility

Are you considering whether to move to a different country, institution or research group as part of your career plan? Many PhD students and researchers benefit from experiencing the diversity of new research perspectives and knowledge, working alongside new colleagues and collaborators, as well as learning about new cultures and even languages. Research is a global business and so new experiences can open up the mind and allow novel ideas and directions to develop.

Of course, on the downside, there are disadvantages associated with academic mobility, especially in terms of professional work:personal life balance considerations. To this end, I have written a blog which covers many of these issues, as well as suggesting alternative strategies for those who are looking for inspirational career opportunities, but are largely confined to a particular geographic region. In addition, I also deliver a one-day workshop on this subject, in which participants have the opportunity to review and discuss their situation and the associated issues and challenges facing them, in order to help them to make informed decisions about their next career move.

A wealth of literature has been written on the subject of academic mobility, which I have been accumulating over the months and years. Keeping it up to date is a challenge, but I hope you’ll find the following list helpful:


Foreign-born scientists: mobility patterns for 16 countries 

Study on mobility patterns and career paths of EU researchers 

RAND survey: International movement and science

OECD survey: Mobility of PhD researchers

Recognition and weak ties: Is there a positive effect of postdoctoral position on academic performance and career development? 

Go figure: salary drives researchers to move to new countries

Motivations of international academic mobility: the perspective of university students and professors 

Multiscale impact of researcher mobility

Doctoral graduates’ transition to industry: networks as a mechanism? Cases from Norway, Sweden and the UK

Time to go? (Inter) national mobility and appointment success of young academics 

Global mobility: science on the move 

Non-tenured post-doctoral researchers’ job mobility and research output: An analysis of the role of research discipline, department size and co-authors

Influence of international mobility on the attitudes of researchers

Entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship and scientific mobility: The Spanish case


Mobile scientists and international networks

How to find the right place to do your PhD or postdoc

Mobility: A strategic move 

Considering going abroad for work? Recent research can help you to weigh up the pros and cons

Away from home: Why the postdoc phase is crucial 

Why you should move country

How to break cultural and language barriers down in the lab 

Crossing continents for your research career: A personal journey 

International academic mobility: Towards a concentration of the minds in Europe 

Moving to the US (podcast)

9 reasons not to go abroad – and how to handle them 

Fewer invited talks by women in evolutionary biology symposia 

New lab, new adventure – Moving your lab to another country

Doctoral Graduates’ transition to industry


An American postdoc abroad 

How to fit in when you join a lab abroad

Sacrifices for science (podcast) 

Putting down roots (personal story – Natasha Reikhel) 


Negotiating the dual academic career deal (video) 

Dual career academic couples 

Higher Education Research Consortium (USA)

Moving for research

Dual-career couples (list of resources – USA) 

International Dual Career Network

Dual-career academics: the right start 

Dual career academic couples: What universities need to know 


Mothers in Science

Gendered strategies of mobility and academic career

Flexible working: Science and the gig economy 

Flexible working: the solo scientist

Juggling the balls, having it all? Tips from a mother and part-time professor 

The price you will pay for work-life balance 

How to become a digital nomad in 2020

The life career rainbow (Super) 


Euraxess: Researchers in Motion 

The European Charter for researchers. The code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers 

Flexible working: Solo scientist 

Why building a start-up is probably your most sensible career path 

Academic Mobility (Germany)

SNSF Career Funding

The hidden costs of a career in scientific research 

Retirement: Dollars and sense 

Funding sources (scroll down list to find relevant information) 

Human Frontier Science Program

Academic career paths worldwide 

The art of grantsmanship

Academic career maps in Europe 


Academic Mobility, in Nina Maadad , Malcolm Tight (ed.) Academic Mobility (International Perspectives on Higher Education Research, Volume 11) Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.i

Global Mobility of Research Scientists: The economics of who goes where and why, 2015, Aldo Geuna (Ed.), Elsevier.

International movement and science. A survey of researchers by the Together Science campaign, 2018, Gordon R. McInroy, Catherine A. Lichten, Becky Ioppolo, Sarah Parks and Susan Guthrie. Rand Europe. 

Lean In, 2015, Sheryl Sandberg, Ebury Publishing. 

Women Don’t Ask, 2007, Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, Princeton University Press.

Professor Mommy – finding work-family balance in academia, 2014, Kristen Ghodsee, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. 

Female Science Professor – Blog

Occam’s Typewriter – Blog by Athene Donald