Euroscience Young Researcher Tour
CONCEPT, PROPOSAL – FOR FURTHER DISCUSSION
Background and purpose
The main purpose of this initiative is to gather information concerning the situation of, and challenges for, young researchers in Europe as well as to stimulate a discussion of relevant issues and potential solutions. Euroscience will during 2013, together with local partners, organize a number of seminars at different geographic locations across Europe. The information gathered will be used both in Euroscience work to improve the situation for science and scientists in Europe (European and national levels) as well as a means to identify topics for further investigations, discussions and seminars. At the end of the tour a major “wrap-up” seminar in Brussels or Strasbourg is planned to highlight and discuss the issues.
Other purposes with the tour are to raise the visibility of Euroscience across Europe and, importantly, recruit new members.
The initiative therefore has the following four main purposes:
1) To discuss the situation for young researchers (postdocs and more senior) in European research institutions and in industry, and thereby identify present and emerging issues as well as potential solutions.
2) To highlight and discuss the issues at a major wrap-up seminar in Brussels or Strasbourg with high-level decision makers present.
3) To make Euroscience as a grass roots organization more visible in the scientific community.
4) To recruit more members to Euroscience.
Suggested layout of tour seminars
The seminars and discussions will be organized at a number (5?) of different locations throughout Europe. However, in all cases the seminars should take place at locations where a relatively large number of young researchers can be met. These should preferably come from academia, industry and other organizations. All seminar locations should be major academic centres. The number of seminar attendees should ideally not exceed 100 per seminar.
The seminars should ideally be organized together with a local organization such as a university in order to anchor the discussion in the local situation, attract a large number of attendees and relevant speakers, as well as to reduce costs and make the marketing efficient.
The seminars themselves could have different layouts but should involve the audience in an active discussion. Seminars could last for up to approximately 3 hours (with coffee break) and be followed by a reception.
The speakers should include at least one member of the Euroscience governing board, a representative from the local Euroscience section (if applicable), the president of the local university, one or two young researchers, and a representative from the research-intensive industry. The moderator should be a Euroscience representative.
A rapporteur should be assigned for the seminars.
The marketing of the local seminars should primarily be directed towards young researchers, the university leadership, industrial representatives and science-related organizations.
It is important that the seminars are connected with marketing efforts of Euroscience to ensure an increase of the numbers of members.
The wrap-up session in Brussels/Strasbourg should have another layout than the local seminars (See below for suggestion).
A typical tour seminar setup could be:
- Introduction and welcome by Euroscience and the local organizer (approx. 10 min).
- Speakers from academia, industry, Euroscience and other organizations ( approx. 80 min (15+5 min per speaker) + short break (10 min) after two speakers). Typical subjects could for instance be “my research career and the obstacles I have met” or “challenges and opportunities for young researcher”. In any case, it is important that the speakers are instructed on the topics they are supposed to cover in order to keep the discussion focussed.
- Group discussions on predefined topics related to the above talks (50 min). These could for instance concern:
- Research careers
- Economic conditions for young scientists
- The granting systems on national and EU –levels
- International mobility
- Mobility between academia and industry
- The merit system for academic scientists
- The social security systems for academic researchers (e.g. insurances, parent leave, international scientist mobility contra the national systems for social security and pensions)
- The groups present their conclusions that are commented on by a panel consisting of the speakers, and in an open discussion (30 min).
- Conclusions by the Euroscience board representative and the local university president (10 min).
The wrap-up seminar in Brussels or Strasbourg should have a different structure compared to the local seminars. For this seminar the objective is largely to highlight and discuss the issues as well as to propose solutions on the political and administrative levels. For this seminar it is therefore important to target relevant decision makers as attendees. A secondary objective is to make Euroscience as an organization more visible.
The seminar should be led by Euroscience and have relatively high-level speakers from the parliament, commission, universities, think-tanks and funding bodies as well as representatives of young scientists. The moderator should come from Euroscience and be tasked with keeping the discussion concrete and to the point.
One of the talks should be a report from the tour with conclusions and if possible policy recommendations formulated by Euroscience.