International mobility is a key part of research careers and the practice of excellent science. These case studies present the journeys of scientists as they have transitioned between locations throughout their career, demonstrating the role this has played in shaping both their development and scientific output.
Together, the case studies show the opportunities and challenges associated with international mobility, as well as the outcomes for individuals, their research and global science. The subjects represent the full range of career stages, from postdoctoral researchers to experienced leaders in their field.
Individuals share their personal reflections around cultural differences or language barriers between countries and explain what inspired them to move. They discuss the factors that encouraged them to move, such as the opportunity to work and collaborate with top experts in their field, as well as reflecting on how mobility might be encouraged in the UK.
Petra was educated to graduate level in Hungary and spent time in the USA before taking up a PhD in materials chemistry, jointly located between Hungary and France.
Eleanor pursued her research interests around the world, moving from posts in the UK to Germany, to Sweden, then back to the UK where she is now Chair of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh.
Richard is a professor in materials and computational chemistry working jointly between University College London and Cardiff University and has been Foreign Secretary and Vice-President of The Royal Society since 2016.
Originally from Luxembourg, Frank undertook his studies in Edinburgh, with postdoctoral roles in the Netherlands and Cambridge, before becoming a lecturer at Lancaster University.
Bayu is a theoretical particle physicist from Indonesia who has moved internationally at each stage of his academic career.
Maggy moved from French academia into post-doctoral roles in Australia and the UK, moving into publishing and science attaché roles before becoming a Research and Business Development Manager at the University of Leicester.
Anna was educated as a physiotherapist in India, but continued her research career in the UK and the USA.
Marina is a nuclear physicist who built her research career across Greece, the UK, the USA and Germany before returning to the UK to take up a Royal Society University Research Fellowship at the University of York.
Dr Steven Spoel is a Dutch plant biologist, who followed his academic career path first to the USA and then to the UK.
Simon is a British astrophysicist who has remained mobile throughout his academic career, learning French, German and English from a young age, and is now enjoying his role as a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany.