The precarious employment for many researchers at the beginning and even middle stages of their careers were recognized and called out for many years. For many ECRs, however, the COVID pandemic worsened these problems to an unprecedented degree. This issue was particularly taken up by Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, former president of the European Research Council (ERC), who teamed up with the Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE). Earlier this year, at the 4th Gago conference on science policy, the participants were led by ISE to synthesise these concerns and call for four major points:
- Europe-wide monitoring of young researchers’ situation
- Improving research careers and working conditions in Research Performing Organisations (RPOs), Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) and in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
- Enhancing research careers in the third sector, including NGOs and governmental organisations
- Involving national funding agencies in cooperation with the European Commission.
In order to address these issues and implement the above-mentioned actions, the manifesto provides specific priority themes and measures. These issues are long recognized by Eurodoc and the proposed measures are well aligned with our own policy work. As such, Eurodoc gladly collaborated in the process and was among the first to sign the manifesto. All concerned institutions and all organizations representing the affected ECRs are cordially invited to endorse the manifesto.
Oleksandr Berezko, President of Eurodoc: “Early-career researchers are not only the future of academia but the key to improving this future. ECRs often act as a driving force for positive change but rarely have proper support, especially during challenging times of global disasters and uncertainty.”
Sebastian Dahle, Vice President of Eurodoc: “The pandemic worsened the already precarious situations for many early-career researchers and openly exposed many shortcomings of our academic system. This concerted action led by ISE and the published manifesto are a great effort to address the matter.”
- ISE press release: https://initiative-se.eu/press-release-a-manifesto-for-early-career-researchers/
- The manifesto: https://initiative-se.eu/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/MANIFESTO-def.pdf
- Link to formally endorse the manifesto: https://forms.gle/tLgtgBK8qAgCrL7AA