500 signatures reached
To: (1) Irish Universities Association, (2) Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, (3) Department of Justice, (4) Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment, and (5) Higher Education Authority
Creating Pathways to the Hosting Agreement Scheme for Non-EEA Doctoral Research Students
Make the Hosting Agreement Scheme accessible to all Non-EU/EEA PhD students conducting research in Ireland who may not have employment contracts with their universities.
Why is this important?
1. We understand that Non-EU/EEA doctoral research students conducting research in Ireland can access the hosting agreement scheme but on condition that they have an employment contract as captured in the first Hosting Agreement FAQ on the Euraxess website here: https://www.euraxess.ie/ireland/fast-track-work-permit-non-eu-rd-hosting-agreement-scheme/i-wish-research-university it states:
'Can I have a Hosting Agreement if I am a PhD student in Ireland?
Yes, providing you have an employment contract with your university or research-active organisation in Ireland. Contact the Hosting Agreement office of EURAXESS Ireland by emailing ***@iua.ie for more information.'
2. It is typical that many Non-EU/EEA doctoral research students are supporting Irish research projects without employment contracts because most universities do not employ doctoral Research students but hire them on scholarship contracts which disqualifies them from accessing the hosting agreement. This is an affordable way of hiring early stage researchers to conduct research while not considering the impact it has on their immigration status in Ireland and to their dependants.
(Only those who get employment contracts qualify to apply for the hosting agreement)
3. Denying access to Non-EU/EEA doctoral research students on research scholarship contracts while giving those on employment contracts brings about inequality among Non-EU/EEA Early Stage Researchers in Ireland.
4. Lack of access to the hosting agreement to most Non-EU/EEA doctoral research students means that their time in Ireland is not reckonable & creates potential red tapes to access employment in the future. Those on hosting agreement can apply for stamp 4 VISA after 21 months and their time is reckonable while those who do not have are on stamp 2 VISA status throughout their doctoral research program.
5. The lack of access for many Doctoral Research students to the hosting agreement means that their spouses have no direct access to employment in Ireland despite their qualifications and experience. On the other hand those on hosting agreements have their partners access employment with no restrictions. This makes the families of doctoral research students without hosting agreements to be vulnerable and therefore it means more stress to the researcher. Treating these researchers differently brings about inequality among them.
6. It is only fair that the contributions of all Non-EU/EEA doctoral research students to research in Ireland is equally recognized, valued, and given credit without looking at their contractual terms. Those doctoral research students on hosting agreement and those not on hosting agreement are equally qualified and hold same responsibilities in Research and Development in Ireland. Treating these two groups differently based on the terms of their contracts creates inequality and is unfair.
7. The eligibility criteria for the hosting agreement scheme should be reviewed to include research scholarship contracts to allow Non-EEA doctoral research students to access the scheme. (Note: Most are disqualified due to the lack of employment contracts)
How it will be delivered
By email and post to:
Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science
Irish Universities Association and affiliate universities
Higher Education Authority
Department of Justice
Department of Enterprise Trade, and Employment