The Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST), the University of Malta and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) have concluded an agreement to host Maltese doctoral and post doctoral students in the different JRC Research Institutes.

Areas of collaboration have been identified on the basis of mutual interest and include the environment, biotechnology, ICT, energy, food safety and maritime affairs.

"It will be a pleasure for the JRC to count on a higher number of Maltese students in its laboratories. I am sure they will actively contribute to the excellence of the EU research and will take full advantage from the wealth of knowledge and infrastructure which is available at our seven specialised institutes,” Roland Schenkel director general of the Joint Research Centre said.

“The JRC offers very good opportunities to students particularly because it is a reference centre of science and technology for the European Union and is very close to the EU policy-making process of Europe wide research" added Nicholas Sammut, chairman of the Malta Council for Science and Technology.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the framework of the Open Day held today in St Julians with the participation of high profile speakers from the JRC and Malta and the objective of finding further ways forward for research cooperation.

This will build on the longstanding cooperation already built between JRC and MCST, the national advisory body on science and technology. The collaboration with the University will also be enhanced.

In the framework of this reinforced cooperation, access to large infrastructures and user laboratories will be granted to Maltese researchers.

Candidates for grants funded by Malta's national programmes will be nominated by MCST or the University, and pre-selected candidates will be approved by the JRC. Maltese candidates to the EU grants will need to follow the common JRC grants procedures or apply for a Marie Curie fellowship.

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