Brussels, Belgium, June 2015
EMPOWERING YOUNG RESEARCHERS IN EUROPE: ENGAGEMENT AND PARTICIPATION
Eurodoc Annual Conference, General Meeting and New Board 2015
The 2015 Eurodoc Annual Conference took place in the city of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, between April 27th and 28th and was co-organised by the Romanian Society of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (Rodoc). The conference ‘Empowering Young Researchers in Europe: Engagement and Participation’ brought together representatives from NGOs across Europe to discuss what they are doing to support early stage researchers. Invited external speakers and Eurodoc members presented how they are dealing with the issues that affect them, and the projects they are working on. The conference provided an opportunity for sharing ideas and exchanging good practice.
The conference was followed by the Annual General Meeting, during which Eurodoc’s projects, strategic aims and goals for the upcoming year were discussed. A new board has been elected, and legally took over on the first of June after the transition period’s expiry.
This year’s board is composed as follows. Margaux Kersschot (BE) was elected as the new president, Carole Chapin (FR) became vice-president, Miia Ijäs (FI) is secretary, Clemens Nyffeler (CH) is the new treasurer, and Marcell Gáspár (HU), Sanjin Marion (HR) and Ewelina Pabjańczyk-Wlazło (PL) have become general board members.
For the year 2015-2016, Eurodoc will pursue the goal of ensuring the recognition of the value and the purpose of the doctorate. Eurodoc will continue the activities for the second Eurodoc Survey and its support for collaborations between its national members. Furthermore, actions to increase awareness on why the activities of doctoral candidates and junior researchers qualify as professional activities will be continued, contributing to a better recognition through adequate working conditions.
Eurodoc’s annual activities and outcomes will be supported by a wider external communication.
Eurodoc offers its full support to the statement issued by our Dutch member Promovendi Netwerk Nederland.
We are strongly opposed to this experiment, and believe it will be a step backwards for the Dutch system. We support employee status for all doctoral candidates across Europe, with full rights to social security and other employee benefits.
Providing full employment contracts, offering appropriate compensation and full social security and pension rights is the best way to attract and retain motivated research staff. Fully professionalising the research career can only help to improve the quality of research and other work performed by researchers. However we would also stress that it is not just social security contributions that are at stake here, it is how academia, and others, wish to view doctoral candidates. We regard them as professional academic workers, and full members of the research community. Classing them as students fails to recognise this, and we risk the situation where academia comes to treat them as an expendable resource.
We would further emphasise that the situation in the Netherlands goes against all that is considered good practice in Europe. This includes the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, which asks that all researchers be regarded as professionals. The implementation of the Charter & Code’s principles is supported by the European Commission via the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers, and many European research institutions and universities are working to such principles in their policies and practices.
It also includes the EUA’s Salzburg II principles and other reports which call for doctoral candidates to be treated as professionals with all rights such as healthcare, social security and pension rights, and a more recent statement from the Trade Unions Committee for Education, which has asked for all doctoral candidates to be made employees of their institution.
We cannot see how denying some doctoral candidates certain rights serves to enhance the Dutch research system. Previous ‘experiments’ were never fully analysed, and the studies that were done produced negative results. We would rather Minister Bussemaker and the Dutch Universities took the advice of the Council of State and rejected the use of student doctoral candidates.
Registration for Eurodoc’s 2015 annual conference and AGM is now open via the conference website! Additional information will be added to the website in the coming few weeks.
The conference will take place from the 27th – 28th April 2015 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, which will be the European Capital of Youth for 2015. Eurodoc’s members will be present talking about how they are dealing with the issues that affect them, and the projects they are working on. The conference will provide an opportunity for the sharing of ideas and exchange of good practice. We hope to welcome many other organisations from across Europe and hear more about what they are doing to support and empower young researchers.
The event is being organised by Eurodoc and RoDoc, the association of doctoral candidates in Romania. Immediately following the conference, Eurodoc will hold its annual general meeting on the 29th and 30th April.
Ever since the Berlin Declaration on Open Access (OA) a decade ago, scientific publication has undergone serious transformations. OA has more and more become part of the publishing reality in Europe. It has been noted that OA has reached the tipping point, with 50% of scientific papers published in 2011 freely available . It is now a widely discussed topic in European policy debates. Eurodoc is a strong supporter of OA to scientific publications. Freely accessible literature can be expected to facilitate and accelerate the work of Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) . Read more>>
Eurodoc supports the Joint Declaration on Doctoral Training in Europe published by the rectors conferences from France, Germany, Poland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. We would especially like to emphasise that Doctoral Candidates, who should be selected in a fair recruitment process, are professional researchers. Appropriate supervision of their PhD research is of paramount importance. Furthermore, we agree that no ECTS are necessary for measuring skills developed during the doctorate. The award of a doctorate is sufficient to attest the holder’s qualifications, which are valuable for a diverse labour market.