Thursday, September 1, 2016

Young European Researchers Set Groundwork for Policy Changes

Science Magazine
Elisabeth Pain
August 30, 2016

Funding to pursue fresh research ideas and gain early independence; sustainable and transparent career trajectories; a diverse, collaborative, and ethical research environment; and a healthy work-life balance—these are all part of a wish list that a group of young scientists discussed with European policymakers last month.

Invited by the Council of the European Union, of which Slovakia is the current president, and the European Commission to voice their concerns and aspirations about their ability to pursue research careers, 10 early-career scientists from across Europe developed the document, called the Bratislava Declaration of Young Researchers. Overall, the declaration—which was discussed with the
Competitiveness Council of ministers overseeing research in the 28 EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland and then officially presented to the press—calls for better recognition of "the special role that young researchers play" in the research enterprise, and for implementation of new measures that will help them reach their full potential. The issues are complex, the authors acknowledge in the declaration, calling on European policymakers "to sustain a dialogue with young researchers" so that they may "become an active part of policy development." The declaration is expected to be adopted by the council of research ministers at the end of November.