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Job swap

The European Parliament is seeking to build bridges with scientists through an MEP job-shadowing scheme, as Tania Rabesandratana reports.

“I thought it would be very complex, but it’s not so terrible,” says Marco Alves, a researcher at the Wave Energy Centre in Portugal, who has just spent a week experiencing the very different work world of an MEP. Alves says he expected political debates at the European Parliament to be difficult to follow but was pleasantly surprised. “I thought the language used here would be different, but I understood everything,” he says.

Last month, Alves and 11 other 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 for the job swap’s second leg.

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