Short-Term Scientific Missions - Interview with Bojan Blagojevic on researcher mobility in COST Action "RIBMINS"

POLICY ANSWERS asked Bojan Blagojevic to tell about this COST Action and about the types of mobility that COST can offer for researchers. Bojan Blagojevic is a full professor in Meat hygiene at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Novi Sad. He is a diplomate of European College of Veterinary Public Health (ECVPH) and currently serves as junior vice-president of ECVPH. He participates in numerous international reserach projects (including the role of chair of COST Action RIBMINS - Risk-based meat inspection and integrated meat safety assurance) and acts as a member of expert groups of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on meat safety.

RIBMINS was a COST Action dedicated to combining and strengthening European-wide research efforts on modern meat safety control systems, creating a platform for training relevant participants in the new meat safety system and thus helping its operability, as well as informing relevant stakeholders about the requirements, benefits and consequences of the new system.

PA: Can you provide a few examples of how "researcher mobility" was implemented in your Action?

BB: Researcher mobility in COST Actions (including in CA18015 - RIBMINS) is based on Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSMs). During the 4.5-year period while RIBMINS was funded by COST, in total twenty STSMs were granted to younger researchers to gain new knowledge and skills in a scientific institution located in another country, often by working on ongoing projects in the host institution. The duration of STMSs ranged from one week to three months. Some of the grantees were able to write and publish scientific papers with colleagues who acted as hosts, based on the works conducted during these missions. Out of the 20 STSMs, two were granted to researchers from WB countries (North Macedonia and Albania), while other grantees came from Poland, Croatia, the UK, Norway, etc. Also, two grantees (from the UK and Croatia) completed their STSMs in Serbia, at my lab. You can find more information on our STSMs here.

PA: Could you highlight the networking effects of the Action you led - for you individually and for your organisation?

BB: The networking impact is huge both for myself and for the small research team I lead at my university. RIBMINS gathered more than 270 researchers from 43 (mostly European) countries, who are coming from academia, competent authorities and the meat industry. All of them work in the field of risk-based meat safety assurance, so this network allowed us to work on numerous joint publications in high-calibre scientific journals (see here) with colleagues from all across Europe, as well as to participate in other international research projects. These scientific papers and projects are very valuable for the rankings of my university.

PA: Which impacts on Serbia and the Western Balkans could you highlight?

BB: RIBMINS has recognised Serbia as one of the leading countries in research on the hot topic of food safety, for example, risk-based meat safety, alongside much more developed European countries like Scandinavia, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, etc. This COST Action has also enabled me, my organisation and other relevant scientific institutions in Serbia to promote and enhance scientific works (funded by national authorities, such as the Serbian Ministry of Science) conducted in parallel and/or before RIBMINS. I strongly believe that RIBMINS will bring more huge benefits to both Serbia and other WB economies in the near future.

PA: How does mobility within a COST Action compare to other mobility opportunities?

BB: The flexibility that COST offers, including the financing of STSMs, is one of its big advantages over other researcher mobility opportunities.

PA: Thank you for the answers.

Geographical focus
  • Albania
  • Europe
  • Republic of North Macedonia
  • Serbia
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Agricultural Sciences

Entry created by Admin on October 10, 2023
Modified on November 24, 2023