Event has ended
In many countries, the working conditions of academic researchers are deteriorating, especially for the increasing number of postdoctoral researchers on fixed-term contracts and with limited continuous employment prospects. While the majority of early career researchers display a strong intrinsic motivation and ambition for long-term academic careers, this precarity can have significant negative consequences on the motivation, behaviours and well-being of these researchers that in turn affect the nature and quality of scientific outputs. At the same time, there is widespread concern about the capacity of countries to retain their best national talent and attract good foreign researchers to the academic research endeavour. In some countries and research fields, the problem is evident even upstream of the research pipeline, with it being difficult to attract the best candidates into doctoral education. Precarity and insecurity of research careers is also a major obstacle to ensuring gender equality and social diversity in the research workforce. On top of this, covid-19 is making matters worse for many in the research precariat. Responses to the OECD Science Flash Survey 2020 suggest that the pandemic is having detrimental effects on job security and career opportunities in science, research funding and time available for doing research. Younger researchers and women are more vulnerable to these effects. Addressing the problem of precarity will help improve the resilience of science systems, and better prepare them to address future shocks.
This workshop was an opportunity to discuss the findings of the project on reducing the precarity of research careers, share the main lessons learned, and best practices that can be implemented with a wider audience. The results of the discussion will inform the final report of the project and future OECD work on research careers.
The project on Reducing the Precarity of Research Careers is part of the programme of work of the OECD Global Science Forum (GSF), Science and Technology Policy Division, Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation. This workshop is organised by GSF and the Observatory for Research and Scientific Careers of the Fund for Scientific Research – FNRS, French Community of Belgium. It is part of a series of events related to the Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2020 (STIO 2020). The aim of these events is to bring together different stakeholders to discuss the challenges and needs identified in STIO 2020 and to inform OECD STI work in this area.
The meeting was planned to take place at FNRS in Brussels. Due to the covid-19 pandemic it will take place over Zoom web conference service. All delegates to GSF, CSTP, BNCT, NESTI and TIP are invited to attend the workshop and will need to register beforehand (link to be sent separately). Delegates are welcome to include additional ‘experts’ as part of their delegations and some additional guests and presenters will be invited by the Secretariat.The presentations and the video of the event will be available on-line afterwards.
Ms. Cláudia Sarrico, Science and Technology Policy Division (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ms Neda Bebiroglu, Fund for Scientific Research – FNRS (email@example.com).
Thursday, 26 November 2020, 11:00-15:30, Paris time
Item 1. Introduction
Gabriele Fioni, Chair of GSF, Regional Commissioner for Higher Education, Research and Innovation for the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region, France, will chair the workshop.
Introduction by OECD Secretariat, Andy Wyckoff, Director for Science, Technology and Innovation.
Welcome by Valérie Glatigny, Minister for Higher Education, Research and Youth, followed by Véronique Halloin, Secretary-General of the National Fund for Scientific Research (F.R.S-FNRS), French Community of Belgium.
Item 2. The evidence base and insights from the OECD project on reducing the precarity of research careers
This session will present the existing evidence base and data gaps in relation to longitudinal international comparable data on researchers across the OECD, and in particular on postdoctoral researchers on fixed term contracts. It will also discuss the way forward to improve the evidence base on the working conditions and career trajectories of doctorate holders.
Moderator: Vitalba Crivello, Policy Analyst, European Science Media Hub of the European Parliament
12:40-13:30 - Break
Item 3. Working conditions and wellbeing
The objective of this session is to present evidence of the detrimental effects of deteriorating working conditions and a research culture based on competition and short-term outputs on the wellbeing of researchers, the attractiveness of the research career, and the quality of science, and the initiatives being taken to address the problems, by funders and institutions to better link funding to policy objectives beyond quantitative performance metrics.
Moderator: Elisabeth Pain, Contributing Correspondent, Science Careers
Item 4. Professional development and career support
This session will discuss the increasingly long postdoctoral period, the outdated research career structures, the excessive dependency of early-career researchers on senior researchers, and the need to better structure the postdoctoral phase, and develop better human resource policies in institutions, including adequate professional development and career support to researchers.
Moderator: Janet Metcalfe, Head of Vitae, UK
Friday, 27 November 2020, 11:00-15:30, Paris time
Item 5. Equal opportunities and diversity
The overlapping effects of class, ethnicity and gender are compounded by precarity. Disadvantaged and discriminated groups of the population can less afford to endure a long period of precarity before attaining indefinite employment in research. This session will discuss the initiatives being taken to improve equal opportunities and diversity in research careers.
Moderator: David Payne, Managing Editor, Careers, Nature
Item 6. International and inter-sectoral mobility
This session will discuss the many guises of research mobility: 1) intra-sectoral mobility, 2) inter-sectoral mobility, 3) international mobility, and the benefits for research, but also the challenges it raises for researchers.
Moderator: David Payne, Managing Editor, Careers, Nature
13:00-14:00 - Break
Item 7. Protecting the research pipeline in the aftermath of covid-19
This session will discuss the additional challenges covid-19 brought to early-career researchers and the initiatives being taken to protect the research pipeline.
Moderator: Karen Kaplan, Senior Careers Editor, Nature
Item 8. Concluding remarks
Carthage Smith, Senior Policy Analyst - Lead co-ordinator, OECD Global Science Forum, will highlight the main take away messages of the conference and discuss follow up work by GSF on the research workforce of the future.
Marc Vanholsbeeck, Director for Scientific Research, French Community of Belgium will give the closing remarks. (Download the document)
15:30 - End of International Workshop
Born in Bologna (Italy) in 1962, Gabriele Fioni is a Nuclear Physicist, graduate in Physics of the Bologna University (Italy) and Doctor of Science of the Ghent University (Belgium).
Andrew W. Wyckoff
Andrew W. Wyckoff is the Director of the OECD’s Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) where he oversees OECD’s work on innovation, business dynamics, science and technology, information and communication technology policy as well as the statistical work associated with each of these areas.
Vitalba Crivello is an expert in Science Policy and Communication with a background in International Political Economy and Communication. She has been working in Brussels since 2005 where she has held various roles in the domains of policies, projects management and communication, in various EU institutions and consulting firms. In 2018, she joined the European Parliament to launch and develop a brand new project: the European Science-Media Hub, aiming at bridging the gap between scientists, journalists and policy makers through networking, training and knowledge sharing in order to promote the communication and use of evidence-based information.
Cláudia S. Sarrico
Cláudia S. Sarrico is a policy analyst at the Global Science Forum at the OECD, and the project manager of Reducing the Precarity of Research Careers. She was a lead analyst of Resourcing Higher Education, and Benchmarking Higher Education System Performance. Previously, she was an associate professor at ISEG Lisbon School of Economics and Management, University of Lisbon, and a senior researcher at CIPES Centre for Research on Higher Education Policies, Portugal. She has served as advisor to the Board of the Portuguese Research Funding Council (FCT), and the Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education (A3ES). She has a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies from Warwick Business School.
Dr. Alexander Hasgall is Head of the EUA Council for Doctoral Education (EUA-CDE). He is responsible for the largest European network in this field, bringing together a community of academic leaders and professionals from 265 Universities in 36 countries.
Dr. Cho is a research fellow at the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI) in Sejong, Korea.
Géraldine Seroussi is Head of the Department of Statistical Studies of Research in the General Directorate for Research and Innovation in the Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation..
She is a senior statistician, after being graduate from the French National School of Statistics and Economic Studies and in French Universities in mathematics and international economics.
She has worked in several Ministries (Education and Work) and several times in the French National Statistical Institut, before coming, in 2012, to Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation.
She is member of the NESTI-bureau.
Fernando Galindo-Rueda is a senior economist in the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation. He is responsible for co-ordinating the activities of the OECD Working Party of National Experts on Science and Technology Indicators (NESTI). He is responsible for the development and update of OECD statistical standards for the measurement of R&D and innovation, the delivery of targeted analysis of science and innovation data and the dissemination of key OECD statistics in this area, including experimental exercises such as the OECD International Survey of Scientific Authors. Before joining OECD in 2010, he was responsible for economic advice on industrial policy at the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. He has been head of Economic Methodology at the UK Office for National Statistics and has worked as Research Economist at the London School of Economics. He has a PhD in Economics from University College London.
Marie-Helene DOUMET has been working for 3 years in the Directorate of Education and Skills of the OECD in the Division of Innovation and Measuring Progress where she heads the OECD INdicator of Education Systems (INES) programme responsible for the yearly flagship publication Education at a Glance. The publication develops a set of internationally comparable indicators on the participation in education systems, the financial and human resources invested, the characteristics of the learning environment, and the learning, economic and social outcomes of education. Before joining the OECD, she worked for Johnson & Johnson where she led the development of internationally comparable indicators for the company’s pharmaceutical business and supported the implementation of the company’s new performance monitoring system across its operations in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Marie-Helene speaks English, French and Arabic fluently and has a working knowledge of Spanish.
Elisabeth has been covering career issues in Europe and beyond for Science Careers, the online jobs and career guidance magazine of the journal Science, since 2002. Today based in Barcelona, Elisabeth has written extensively on the academic job market, alternative careers, diversity in science, and work-life balance for early-career scientists. Elisabeth also regularly contributes French and Spanish policy news stories for ScienceInsider. Elisabeth first obtained an engineering diploma in biotechnology from her native France, followed by a Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. Finding her calling in science journalism, she went on to obtain a postgraduate diploma in journalism studies from Cardiff University, supported by a scholarship from the Association of British Science Writers.
Luis Sanz-Menendez is Research Professor at the CSIC Institute of Public Goods and Policies (IPP) of the National Research Council (CSIC) in Madrid, Spain, where he was Director of the Institute between 2004 and 2015. He also has served, between 2007 and 2015, as elected Chair of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy (CSTP), where is representing Spain.
Anne-Marie heads the Research Landscape team at Wellcome and has over 25 years’ experience in planning, policy, delivery and funding of research. She led Wellcome’s work on developing a more positive culture for PhD training.
In addition to leading the Research Landscape team at Wellcome Anne-Marie is Co-Chair of the newly formed Research on Research Institute, Chair of the Advisory Board for the CRICK African Network, member of the Strategy Group for the Technicians commitment and the Concordat for Researcher Career Development and an independent member of Council for the Royal Veterinary College.
Anneleen Mortier is Senior Researcher and Project Manager at the Department of Work, Organization and Society of Ghent University in Belgium. Within the Centre for Research and Development Monitoring, she coordinates research on Human Resources in Research. Her main research topic is the careers of PhD holders. A special focus is on entrepreneurship of researchers and the non-academic careers of PhD holders. Her work resulted in several workshops inspiring postdoctoral researchers and policy makers towards non-academic careers. Outside work, her mind is set on food, with special interests for homemade ice cream, freshly baked bread, chocolate and coffee.
Katia Levecque is Professor of Labour Relations and Social Dialogue at Ghent University, Mediator in Labour Relations and Director of the Centre for Research and Development Monitoring. She is also a chocolatier. Her main research topics are employment relations, precarious work, work organization and well-being. Special focus is on gender and diversity. Her work on mental health problems of PhD students was the second-most discussed article on social media in 2017 and helped to erase the stigma around mental health in academia. A passion for making people thrive keeps her going. As do good coffee and daily meditation.
Giulia Malaguarnera is the President of Eurodoc, the European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers, and an Eurodoc Open Science Ambassador. She holds a PhD in Neuropharmacology and now she is an MSCA Individual Fellow in Society and Enterprise, working in a biotech company and at the Institut Curie, in Paris.
Dr Janet Metcalfe is Head of Vitae, an international programme with a mission to lead world-class career and professional development for researchers. She leads on Vitae’s activities relating to the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, the UK equivalent to the European Charter and Code, and the UK process for the HR Excellence in Research Award. Janet was a member of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Advisory Group (2013 –2017).
After several years working in the public and private sectors in Ireland, the UK and Australia, Verity Elston switched her career path towards academia, completing a doctorate in Anthropology with a fellowship at the University of Chicago in 2005. The experience fed her interest in career paths for PhDs, and over the last fifteen years she has developed her practice and expertise in career development support for early and mid-stage researchers. In parallel with training and coaching through her own company, she now leads career development support for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers at the University of Lausanne Graduate Campus.
Alastair McEwan has been Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Queensland since 2013. He is responsible for the PhD Program involving more than 4,000 graduate research students and has a broader role in overseeing researcher development at the University, especially for Early Career Researchers. He is currently the Convenor of the Australian Council of Graduate Research and has a strong interest in promoting the importance of graduate researchers to all sectors of the economy and society. Professor McEwan holds a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from the University of Leeds and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Birmingham. Following his PhD studies he held a NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford. He joined UQ in 1993 and is a Professor of Microbiology in the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences. His research interests span bacterial physiology and pathogenesis and focus on the role of transition metal ions and metabolism in host-pathogen interactions aimed at developing novel antimicrobial therapies.
Dr Anjali Shah is an experienced epidemiologist currently working as a medical researcher and she is also a part-time Researcher Developer at the University of Oxford. She is a Co-Chair of the UK Research Staff Association and represents >75,000 research staff on the UK Researcher Development Concordat Strategy Group. She used to be Co-Chairwoman of the Oxford Research Staff Society for three years, during which researcher representation and community-building increased substantially. She completed her PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and has been awarded other degrees from the University of Leeds and University of Warwick.
Peter Ullrich, Dr. phil. Dr. rer. med., sociologist, senior researcher in the unit “Social Movements, Technology, Conflicts” at the Centre for Technology and Society (Technische Universität Berlin) and fellow at the Institute for Protest and Social Movement Studies and the Center for Research on Antisemitism. He also works as a consultant for the scholarship department of Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. He is one of the founders of the Network for Decent Labour in Academia (Netzwerk für Gute Arbeit in der Wissenschaft, https://mittelbau.net/information-in-english/) and publishes, among many other fields, on academic precarity and the organization of the academic precariat. twitter: @textrecycling
David joined the weekly science journal Nature in 2016. He and his colleagues oversee the careers section, publishing news, features, columns, audio and webinar content aimed at working scientists across the globe, with a particular focus on supporting early career researchers. Before joining Nature, David worked for various regional and national newspapers and magazines, mostly in the health and science sectors.
Prof. Roseanne Diab is the former Executive Officer of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and Emeritus Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is a Member of ASSAf and is recognised for her research contributions in the field of atmospheric sciences, particularly air quality, climate change and tropospheric ozone variability. She is a Fellow of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the South African Geographical Society, The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and the African Academy of Sciences. She is currently Director of the global initiative, GenderInSITE, which is based in Trieste, Italy. She has served as Co-chair of the Gender Advisory Panel of The World Academy of Sciences and represents GenderInSITE on the panel. She has been a Fulbright senior research scholar and has been a member of a number of international bodies such as the International Ozone Commission (IOC).
Katalin Solymosi is assistant professor at the Department of Plant Anatomy, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary. She is a founding member of the Hungarian Young Academy, and member of its Board. She took part in the analyses of a survey on the situation of young researchers in Hungary, in which she focused on open questions related to gender-specific issues. She was recently elected as Board member of the Young Academy of Europe where she is involved in the analyses of a survey about the situation of young researchers during the COVID-19 pandemic. She was also asked to join the presidential committee of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences which focuses on the career path of women in science.
Charles Mathies is an Academy of Finland Research Fellow based at the Finnish Institute for Educational Research in the University of Jyväskylä. He previously held multiple academic and administrative positions within universities in Finland and the United States. Charlie’s research focuses on the role of global markets, politics, and infrastructures in the movement of knowledge, data, and people. He earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Georgia (USA) specializing in public policy and quantitative data analysis.
As a trained lawyer Ilka Schießler-Gäbler (studied in Germany and South Africa, LL.M.) has been working for the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, whose 86 Max Planck Institutes and facilities currently conduct basic research in the natural sciences, bio-sciences, humanities and social sciences for the benefit of the general public, since 2005. In the past, Ms Schießler-Gäbler has been responsible for the development and advancement of funding structures to promote young scientists. In the department for Human Resources Development & Opportunities she is currently in charge of the PhDnet (Doctoral Students' Representative Council of the MPG), advises on fundamental questions of young scientists and is project leader for establishing an MPG-wide alumni network.
Neda Bebiroglu, Ph.D. is scientific advisor and coordinator at the Observatory of Research and Scientific Careers at the Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique - FNRS in Belgium, a structure that aims to track and analyse the careers of researchers and develop knowledge on the doctoral and postdoctoral process. She is a member of the Expert Group for the OECD Global Science Forum on "Reducing precarity of research careers”. Neda holds a Master's degree in Applied Psychology from New York University, New York (USA) and a Ph.D. in Child Study and Human Development from Tufts University, Massachusetts (USA). After completing postdoctoral fellowships at King's College London (UK) and Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium), Neda joined the Observatory of Research and Scientific Careers in 2018. She is currently responsible for two main projects: the “Future of PhD Holders”, which targets the job transition of doctorate holders in the French community of Belgium and “Recruiting Talents” that is designed to evaluate the added-value of the doctorate degree for non-academic employers.
As Deputy Head of Unit, Bodo drives the political strategy of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions, as well as related aspects in the fields of mobility, training and career development of researchers. He joined the European Commission in 1997 and has been working on international education and training policy development, communication, innovation, higher education and international organisations. Prior to that, he was a high school teacher.
Javier García Martinez
Professor of Inorganic Chemistry and Director of the Molecular Nanotechnology Laboratory of the University of Alicante, Spain. Founder of the technology-based company Rive Technology, which markets the technology he developed during his Fulbright postdoctoral stay at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 2019, Rive Technology was acquired by W.R. Grace that now commercializes his technology worldwide. Founder of Celera, and ONG to support and empower entrepreneurs in Spain. President-elect of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, IUPAC.
Gonçalo Leite Velho
Gonçalo Leite Velho is Head of the National Union of Higher Education (SNESup), an non-affiliated trade union that is the major representative of Higher Education Teachers and Scientists in Portugal. In these functions he proposed and negotiated several laws for the regulation of scientific and academic work and institutions, which gathered a large consensus. The approach developed allowed for a re-equilibrium in institutional instances, based on carefully thought proposals and a detailed knowledge of the sector data.
Karen H. Kaplan
Karen H. Kaplan is senior editor of Nature’s Careers section and lead editor of the Back Page / Where I Work section for the publication. She started at Nature in 2008 as associate editor of Careers, where she mainly covers junior researchers worldwide, including PhD students, postdocs and those in unstable academic positions. Karen’s most recent project is a four-part series of feature articles on Nature’s first-ever survey of postdocs around the world. The stories examine the worklife experiences of nearly 7,700 respondents in 93 nations, their struggles with mental health, harassment and discrimination, and their sense of future career prospects. Karen was an editor at Physics Today and spent a decade covering Pfizer at a daily newspaper in Connecticut. She has been a US journalist for 35 years.
Samuel B. Howerton
Dr. Howerton is the Deputy Director of the NSF’s Office of International Science and Engineering. A career member of the Senior Executive Service, Dr. Howerton ensures the United States’ science community enjoys strong partnerships across the globe. He assesses emerging international scientific trends and provides foreign policy counsel to NSF leadership. With a thirty-person staff, Dr. Howerton guides the NSF’s research and education directorates in preparing calls for proposals with international partners, to include activities promoting international mobility for the next generation of scientists and engineers.
Dr. Howerton earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry-Environmental Toxicology from Michigan State University, a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Tennessee, and a LEAD Certificate from the Leland J. Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Apostolia Karamali is the head of the Academic R&I and Research Organisations unit at the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission. The unit designs, implements, and monitors policy initiatives in support of higher education institutions, research organisations and researchers, as part of the European Research Area (ERA), and empowers them to deliver the transformative and systemic changes that boost the long-term competitiveness, attractiveness, and impact of Europe's R&I system.
Dr Katie Wheat is Head of Engagement and Policy at Vitae, leading world class researcher development to realise the potential of researchers. Through her leadership of Vitae membership and Vitae Connections Week 2020, as well as work to support the Researcher Development Concordat, Katie engages with stakeholders across the research ecosystem to advocate for the importance of the career and professional development of researchers for the benefit of individuals and ultimately society.
Carthage Smith joined the Global Science Forum Secretariat in June 2014 as Lead Co-ordinator. He is responsible for overseeing the Forum activities and working with members and delegates to define the overall strategy and priorities. He was originally trained as a biochemist, with a PhD in neuroscience (Newcastle University, UK). Prior to joining the GSF secretariat, he was Deputy Executive Director of the International Council for Science (ICSU, Paris) for twelve years. In this position he led the strategic development of a number of major global science initiatives, in areas ranging from environmental science to urban health, and managed a number of science for policy and policy for science activities. Prior to moving to France, he spent six years at the UK Medical Research Council, where he was Head of International Science Policy.
Marc VANHOLSBEECK is the director of scientific research at the Ministry of Wallonia-Brussels Federation and a PhD lecturer in communication studies at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. He teaches science communication, argumentation and research methodologies. His research and policy interests include Open Science, scholarly communication, public communication of science, research evaluation and research policies in the social sciences and the humanities. Marc has authored or co-authored several articles, book chapters, presentations and policy reports on these subjects. He is currently the chair of the ERAC Standing Working Group on Open Science and Innovation, and the Belgian delegate to the programme committee of the societal challenge “Europe in a changing world” of Horizon 2020.
When and Where
Start Time:Nov 26, 2020 11:00 AM CET (Europe/Paris)
End Time:Nov 27, 2020 3:30 PM CET (Europe/Paris)
Event Visibility & Attendance Policy:Open