Working in Research in Luxembourg

Luxembourg is not usually the name of a country that you hear when the subject of academic or applied research comes up and indeed I often get asked, what, why or indeed how? If you are from outside Europe it is also worth noting that Luxembourg is an independent country and not part of Germany, France or Belgium (or even Switzerland) – it’s worthwhile trying to avoid this mistake. Therefore in order to help people see why coming here is attractive I’ve put together a list of the top 10 reasons.

  1. The country has a relatively new university with a number of interdisciplinary centres, these are ideal places to explore the boundaries across different disciplines; something that can be quite hard in pre-defined research centres or within normal university faculty structures.
  2. Research here is quite new, so when you arrive and especially if you are in a new domain you get a chance to shape the future. The institutions themselves, in particular the interdisciplinary centres are very supportive of new ideas.
  3. Luxembourg is small but international, this means there is a great deal of effort on working with partners from across the globe.
  4. The small nature of the country means that you constantly meet senior people from Government or Industry. How often in Germany or the UK (I have worked in both) would you bump into the education minister, the CTO of the largest telecom provider or a bank director? This means there is an excellent chance to work with people who really make an impact and where your results will have a benefit.
  5. For more applied research there are a few public research centres which specialise in a range of topics.
  6. You get to work with people from all over the world, again the small nature of Luxembourg means the mix of staff is quite different from say the UK or Germany. This in itself is fun.
  7. The Government, companies and other state institutions are generally very supportive and due to the small size of the country far more responsive than in larger states where many competing actors may slow down the process.
  8. Research has to have an impact in someway on the country. This means that although we can explore high-risk seemingly blue-sky topics all of them are in some way related to social or economic benefits which can be brought to Luxembourg.
  9. Luxembourg is a small word-of-mouth driven country, this means reputation is everything. This is kind of self policing and means that people cannot get away with doing nothing or with behaving badly.
  10. Yes it’s also a nice place to live. Very safe, clean and also only hours from many other major European cities by train….

If you do decide to work in Luxembourg all the best!


About Rod McCall

Rod McCall is a researcher in the field of human-computer interaction in areas such as augmented reality, mobile gaming in-car systems and virtual environments. He has a passing interest in economics after not being entirely convinced by the rubbish presented as fact during lectures on that particular subject while at uni.
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