Toul’Box is a new system to support French and international students and researchers from the preparation of their stay until they settle in. Toul’Box has been operational at Toulouse since 24 June 2014 and since then at Albi and Tarbes. This service is intended for all students and researchers entering one of the member establishments of the Federal University of Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées.
Services offered by Toul’Box are subdivided into theme-based packages. Some are free of charge, while others are services must be paid for. They cover migration and administrative procedures, housing assistance, language training, induction and cultural integration procedures.
For example, students or researchers may choose to have an introductory meeting with the Toul'Box team in order to take stock of their situation on arrival and receive guidance on the remaining procedures they will have to follow. They can also go much further by entrusting the Toul'Box team to organise all matters related to their arrival: booking accommodation, opening a bank account, airport transfer, guided tour of the city, etc.
With the help of its numerous partners, Toul'Box provides its students and researchers with the benefit of reduced prices (reduced rent, exemption from administrative fees, additional services, etc.). In addition, the Toul'Box team speaks a number of foreign languages (English, Spanish, Russian, Uzbek, etc.). This helps students and researchers to feel at home and to get their bearings more easily.
It offers a broad modular set of services ranging from merely providing information to conducting procedures in advance. In this way, Toul'Box provides support for students and researchers throughout their stay.
Further information on this programme is available at: toulboxuniv-toulouse [dot] fr
The Europe+ Unit was established at the beginning of 2014 for the purposes of increasing the number of European training and research project applications by teams on the academic site. The four main activities conducted by the Europe+ Unit are as follows:
These activities fall within the academic site strategy logic on European issues, discussed during three meetings with staff at the offices of Research and Postgraduate Study and International Relations departments of the European Union Affairs Commission (EUACOM) and during the project drafting process.
The Europe + Unit website is the main channel for disseminating information on calls for European projects, with more than 600 information sheets describing project funding lines. A search engine can be used to identify a call for projects by key word, theme or requirement.
In addition, 407 personnel have subscribed to bi-monthly theme-based newsletters, which accounts for almost 1,100 newsletters being sent for each edition (most recipients have subscribed to several newsletters) . The themes are as follows:
Moreover, "Open Day" type information events have been organised regularly. The Europe+ Unit and its local network of Europe correspondents are described in the introduction. One of them, organised as part of Action 1 "training and networking" under the POCTEFA EBRoS 2020 project, received 178 subscriptions and covered all funding opportunities for bio-economics; energy, environment and climate; nanoscience, materials science, further education and training; health, demographics and ageing; human and social sciences; information and communication technology in the form of workshops for discussion with National Contact Points, small and medium-sized enterprises and project initiators (20 June 2014).
In addition to these tools, research lecturers can search for particular skills from the Europe+ Unit by filling in a form, benefiting in this way from a customised search tailored to their international funding needs: Eleven application forms have been filled in (not including informal requests).
During the summer of 2015, meetings were held with IDEX research funding recipients from the 2013 funding round to provide them with information on European funding opportunities relevant to their area of research. In the same spirit, meetings are organised in laboratories to present a selection of Horizon 2020 funding lines linked to laboratory research activities.
The Europ'box system was designed to provide teaching and research teams with support in setting up European projects.
Operational since April 2015, three project applications that benefited from the system were submitted in 2015. One of these projects, with a budget of €3.5 million, was approved by the European Commission under a project funding line for which the success rate is less than 7%. Other projects are currently being assessed.
Five other projects (three European training networks and two research and innovation actions) are currently receiving support with a view to submitting applications in 2016.
Two training events were organised for researchers and research lecturers on the academic site:
Other topics of interest to research teams will be dealt with during 2016, in particular research data management.
Training is also being organised for the administrative staff of member establishments and associates on setting up, managing and steering Horizon 2020 projects.
The Europe+ Unit develops partnerships with numerous stakeholders. The Regional Council, Toulouse Métropole, the Midi-Pyrénées Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Madeeli agency, the Aerospace Valley Centres of Excellence, Agri Sud Ouest Innovation, CBS and DERBI are priority local contacts for the Europe+ Unit. The resulting interaction enables work on specific projects (e.g. "Smart and sustainable cities" with Toulouse Métropole) or on more cross-cutting projects (e.g. information on European funding or synergy between funding sources, jointly with the Regional Council).
The RECET network, comprising a research section and a training section, has 60 subscribers. Through four annual meetings and a common email address, regular discussions can take place on current European events and laboratory activities while local stakeholders such as Science Animation Midi-Pyrénées or the initiator of ESOF 2018 can be presented.
In addition to participation in the meetings of Europe correspondents of the CUP in Brussels, links were strengthened by coordinating the working group on synergy between European funds (structural funds, Horizon 2020 and Erasmus + in particular).
A seminar on the European and International development of universities held on 16 September 2014 was a good opportunity to discuss European issues with university presidents and local stakeholders (Regional Council, Toulouse Metropolis, competitive clusters, etc.). This discussion was based on data from European research and training projects obtained during the 2007-2013 period.
The EBRoS cross-border campus brings together the Federal University of Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, the Iberus campus of excellence (which itself unites the University of Saragossa, the Public University of Navarre and the Universities of Lleida and La Rioja) and the University of Pau and the Pays de l'Adour. This activity supports scientific collaboration, project creation as well as student and personnel mobility in three priority areas:
Interreg POCTEFA provided financial support for these activities, particularly the organisation of a scientific seminar with 65 participants entitled "Long Term Socio-Ecological Research Site: Pyrénées-Ebro-Garonne" (8-9 April 2015). The purpose is to extend the area of the PYGAR workshop affiliated to the CNRS (National Scientific Research Centre) National Energy and Environment Institute in the cross-border area. More than 70 participants attended the event.
Member establishments of the Federal University decided to join the Vision 2020 Network for lobbying and project creation purposes. Apart from the participation in thematic clusters that should be introduced in 2016, we intend to start and coordinate a "Space" cluster.
Since the project was started, 43 scholarships have been granted to students from different academic backgrounds. This funding gave them opportunities for mobility for one term or a full year between September 2014 and July 2016.
The Federal University offers language training in French as a Foreign Language (FFL) and in Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
Full information about the language training offering is available at: http://www.univ-toulouse.fr/formation/perfectionnement-en-langues
During the 2014-2015 period 350 students enrolled for MFL and 435 enrolled in FFL
Purpose: to support and facilitate the opening of English language training in order to attract non-French speaking students
Content: initiating new Masters level English language training.
Contact: cecilia [dot] gunnarssonuniv-toulouse [dot] fr
Under this call for projects, six Masters degrees taught in English have been introduced since 2014:
The Federal University has established communication tools to promote its training courses and its research among students, research lecturers and their international institutional counterparts: