Annual Report 2019

International recognition is a long-term process involving many small steps, smart decisions and persistence.

International Recognition

Building a strong international reputation for LISER is crucial to be recognised as an eminent European research institute with well-defined areas of expertise. High international visibility enables LISER to hire excellent PhD students and postdoctoral researchers, to secure international funding (like highly prestigious ERC grants) and to build strong partnerships with researchers and policy-makers at the international level. Yet, achieving international recognition is a long-term process involving many small steps, smart decisions and persistence.

LISER has already covered a lot of ground in establishing its own brand and recognition in the international research and policy community. In the past, LISER-CEPS was best known for its connection with LIS, the data LIS provided and the associated visiting programme. In the past years, thanks to many new hires and organisational restructuring, LISER is now perceived as a separate institute with many promising young scholars and an ambitious plan to move ahead with research excellence and societal impact.

Over the course of 2019, LISER has made big steps to increase its reputation on the international stage. LISER has now reached a critical mass of excellent researchers. An example of the achieved excellence at the junior level is that LISER researchers from the Labour Market and Living Conditions Departments were awarded the Etta Chiuri Prize by the Italian Society of Public Economics. The prize recognize the sophisticated and innovative work of Sam Cosaert, Alexandros Theloudis and Bertrand Verheyden on understanding joint decisions in couples combining a theoretical model with non-parametric empirical evidence.

At the senior level, 2019 saw the recruitment process for a new Head of the Labour Market Department. Prof. Christina Gathmann from Heidelberg University, a renowned labor economist with expertise in migration, health and political economy, emerged as the top candidate from a highly competitive pool of applicants. Filling that position completes the structural transformation of research activities and its reorganisation into programmes, platforms and departments at LISER.

In addition, LISER organised many activities to increase its visibility and promote its work at the international stage. Examples include the Fifth Workshop on the Economics of Migration, which brought senior and junior researchers from all over Europe to Belval for two days. Keynotes were held by Prof. Michael Beine from the University of Luxembourg, Prof. Frederick Docquier from the University of Louvain and Prof. Christina Gathmann from Heidelberg University. A MiniLab in Labour Economics, which exposes local Ph.D. students to well-known scholars and frontier research, saw Prof. Jan van Ours from Erasmus University Rotterdam talk about retirement choices. Further activities include the international visiting programme in the Cross Border transversal programme, the expansion of LISER’s social media presence via blogs and twitter.

Gaining international recognition is a long haul competition that requires persistence and patience. The leadership and staff of LISER is dedicated to continue our joint efforts to become a leading research institute in and for Europe.