Eurodoc Conference & AGM 2014 Budapest
International Conference and Annual General Meeting
The position of Early Stage Researchers in ERA & EHEA. How to face the challenges ahead?
More than 100 participants from all across Europe recently gathered in Budapest, Hungary, to discuss the challenges that Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) face in the European Research Area (ERA) and in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The event, held in Hungarian Institute of International Affairs, took place between 25th and 27th of March.
The European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (EURODOC) and The Association of Hungarian PhD and DLA candidates (DOSz) organised the EURODOC’14 conference with the theme “The position of Early Stage Researchers in ERA & EHEA. How to face the challenges ahead?” Prof. József Pálinkás, president of Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Imre Csiszár from DOSz and Slobodan Radicev, representing EURODOC, opened the meeting.
Members of EURODOC (34 national associations of doctorates and young researchers from 34 countries of the European Union and the Council of Europe) were together for three days discussing the position of ESRs in ERA and the structural efforts needed to improve ESRs’ position within ERA. One of the most relevant topics discussed during the three days of this event was the professional development that doctoral candidates and Post-Doctoral researchers need in a challenging scientific environment.
EURODOC’14 heard presentations from a diverse range of speakers with interests in research policy. In total, six plenary sessions took place:
- Plenary session I: Where we stand- the position of ESRs in ERA
- Plenary session II: Structural Efforts to Improve the situation of ESRs
- Plenary Session III: Professional development for ESRs
- Plenary Session IV: Parallel Workshops (Open Access; Women in Science; Interdisciplinarity)
- Plenary Session V: Collaboration for excellence
- Plenary Session VI: Professional development for ESRs
Positive evaluation from Participants
The overall evaluation of the conference by participants proved positive. Aidis Stukas, from Lithuania, said: “It was a great opportunity to see how European research stakeholders see doctoral candidates and ESRs. It was constructive experience for both EURODOC and our partners”. From France, Carole Chapin explains: “EURODOC ’14, in the fantastic city of Budapest, was an intellectually stimulating event where were decided new inputs for improving visibility and work conditions of all early stage researchers. Surrounded by the usual friendly atmosphere, we discussed intensively the best ways to achieve these goals, and left the city with the greatest enthusiasm to work on it until EURODOC ’15”.
Annual General Meeting
At EURODOC’s Annual General Meeting, which took place on March (28th and 29th), a new EURODOC Board was elected. John Peacock (Belgium) was elected as President, with the other positions being filled by Filomena Parada (Vice-president – Portugal), Anna Tschaut (Secretary – Germany), Fabian Faller(Treasurer – Luxembourg), and Kristina Ferkovic (Croatia), Margaux Kersschot (Belgium) andWolfgang Müller (Austria) as General Board Members. Furthermore, new coordinators for EURODOC Working Groups were also elected.
For this year, the new board has as its main priorities to strengthen ties with and between its members and will work to step up EURODOC’s efforts to lobby for improved pay and working conditions for young researchers across Europe.
The general meeting also saw the presentation of EURODOC’15. After Lisbon, in 2013, and Budapest, in 2014, the Romanian city of Cluj Napoca has been selected to host the event in March, 2015.