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Core to ECRAAL’s purposes of facilitating international research projects and building the capacity of non-EU research players to collaborate with EU researchers and access EU funds, is to form young talent from across the globe in the issues and challenges of ECRAAL’s work daily activities. To do this, ECRAAL brings in-house various young talents whether through, for example,  alliances with academic institutions or through various avenues for the professional insertion of post-graduates.  In particular, we aim to maintain a multi-cultural and interdisciplinary balance to our team in the aim of fostering these dimensions to international co-operation among researchers.


These alumni pages are a forum for sustaining the enthusiasm and experience of those who have worked in our midst, to help them to keep up their relationships formed when part of our team no matter the distance between their home countries, or to form new relationships with later or earlier ECRAAL Team members.


The preparation for the muscle mass!

Kristine Kessler

Vesalius College/ The University of Colorado at Boulder

ECRAAL Intern February 21, 2011 – May 6, 2011

As an International Affairs Major with a focus on Europe, I wanted to participate in a study abroad program that would deepen my understanding of the EU and its systems. I came to Brussels and started my classes at Vesalius College. After learning about ECRAAL, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity it would provide. I knew that this experience would be a hands-on approach to learning in an international environment, but I have been able to gain so much more from this internship. Immediately, I was welcomed into the workplace and given all the tools that I would need to succeed here. They were extremely flexible and understood that I was pressed for time between my class schedule and experiencing both Belgian and European culture. I attended conferences, researched for briefings, wrote newsletter articles, and developed the database. I focused my work to biotechnology and health issues with regards to how they would affect researchers in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. I now have a heightened understanding of the European Commission, its policies, and how they are put into action and I definitely feel like I have been able to make an impact through working with this company.


Paul Haar

Vesalius College/Ramapo College of New Jersey

ECRAAL Intern February 28, 2011 – May 6, 2011

I arrived to work at ECRAAL in late February of 2011 and stayed until the 6th of May. I was spending a semester in Brussels studying at Vesalius College. I was 21 years old and working towards my undergrad degree

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at my American university still. Working at ECRAAL was, in my opinion, an excellent opportunity to not only get my foot in the door when it comes to working with international and European institutions, but also a tremendous learning experience. I focused on work on Climate Change, at this time the Kyoto Protocol was winding down and the Durban conference was only a little more than a year away. I wrote briefings on the effectiveness of the regulatory mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol as well as several newsletter articles pertaining to the topic. I learned more in my short time here than I thought was possible. I also undertook, along with Kristine my classmate from Vesalius, the creation of the ECRAAL database – which is hopefully still being updated and used. The office has a great feel and everyone I worked with came to work with a great attitude and a friendly disposition, Interning with ECRAAL was an all around wonderful experience.


Ana Otero Castillo

Funding officer – January-September 2011

I have worked as the Funding officer at the European Centre for Research in Asia, Africa and Latin America, ECRAAL, for the past 6 months acquiring experience in how the EU institutions function. I have learned how to prepare conferences and workshops, how to write proper briefings on interesting topics, and writing for the ECRAAL newsletter. In addition to that I was also responsible for the daily web updating for Twitter, Europe news, Research Clusters, Agenda, European and International publications, ECRAAL News as well as others on the ECRAAL website.

During my time here I have worked on membership development strategies; writing proposals; and project/event management which includes liaising with EU institutions, developing strategic partnerships with research organisations or other funding projects, as well as compiling and communicating information on EU funding policy and schemes.

I have worked closely with EU institutions, embassies, Universities, think tanks and ONGs. Other than that I have also attended several conferences weekly; improving my language skills; networking and knowledge of European institutions, international relations, international development co-operation, European integration, lobbies, health, and climate change and so on. Meaning I am always up to date on the latest news and sources. Moreover ECRAAL gives the perfect opportunity for someone to increase their professional contacts. Personally for me, it was very challenging and beneficial to work here. By working in ECRAAL a person is delegated enough responsibility to improve their leadership skills.

Here at ECRAAL we are a multicultural team that creates an enriching and diverse environment. You build a broad knowledge with the different trainings received at ECRAAL.

The organisation is very flexible and there is a comfortable and friendly environment. The support and guidance of the directors are invaluable. They are concerned about their employees and even help us with our academic and professional goals.

Finally I would like to say that it was really a pleasure to work for ECRAAL and essential for developing a future career within any European Institution, which is my personal goal.


ECRAAL - European Centre for Research in Asia, Africa and Latin America
Rond Point Schuman 6, 1040 Brussels - Scotland House
Tel: +32 2 282 84 16