Science Europe is dedicated to improving the career systems in Europe in order to attract the best and most creative minds to a research career and to provide them with a nurturing environment that helps them to develop their capabilities.
Why are research careers important?
Science Europe Member Organisations, as funders and employers of a significant number of researchers in Europe, see it as their responsibility to lead by example and to work towards appropriate strategies to ensure the attractiveness of research careers, including by the provision of appropriate support instruments. The creation of optimal career conditions requires ensuring that the highest standards in all human resources-related issues are applied wherever researchers are professionally active. These include recruitment processes, career progression at all levels, and equality of opportunity regardless of gender, ethnicity, or other differences.
In addition, research careers are increasingly diverse and do not necessarily follow traditional paths. Consequently these changes require specific consideration and tailored actions.
What is Science Europe doing to support and implement change in this area?
Science Europe works to address many common issues in the field which includes gathering and analysing information on policies and tools that support research careers, identifying potential ways to improve career structuring instruments and schemes, and supporting all types of mobility including geographic mobility and mobility across different disciplines or sectors.
Interdisciplinarity is increasingly used to tackle complex scientific questions and address large societal challenges. At the same time, the evaluation of interdisciplinary research proposals poses a set of problems, ranging from missing common standards and criteria to shortages of peer reviewers with experience in evaluating interdisciplinary research. At its third Symposium, Science Europe and its Scientific Advisory Committee brought together researchers and other experts experienced in interdisciplinarity with high-level representatives from Science Europe’s Member Organisations, who fund and perform such research.
The postdoctoral period is a critical phase in a researcher´s career: it is when (s)he chooses whether to pursue a scientific career, and succeeds in achieving that goal, or not. Science Europe has carried out a mapping of support opportunities for postdoctoral researchers, or ‘postdocs’, to improve understanding of what funders do to support researchers’ careers after the completion of their PhD, and to learn whether existing funding schemes can be improved in terms of career support.
Career Pathways in Multidisciplinary Research: How to Assess the Contributions of Individual Members of Large Teams
Scientific research increasingly relies on large collaborative, multi-disciplinary, and interdisciplinary research teams – often working across borders and across sectors – to address big societal questions. This report considers how research organisations can best support collaborative, multi-disciplinary, and interdisciplinary research teams. It also considers how can they allocate appropriate credit for research input and better evaluate multidisciplinary research.
Intersectoral mobility of researchers is gaining political momentum in Europe, with more interest in bringing in the competences that characterise researchers into public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. This survey report looks at the diversity of measures that are in place within Science Europe Member Organisations to enable researchers to be more mobile across different sectors of employment
The Roadmap, approved by the Science Europe General Assembly in November 2013, is Science Europe’s action plan to contribute to the elements of a successful research system. It acts as a framework for voluntary collective activity, providing a long-term strategy for the association. The ‘Priority Action Areas’ are those in which Science Europe members believe that there is a potential to achieve tangible and substantive progress, and where they can add real value by working together.