Career

Section describing the real issues affecting scientists careers in Europe today

Male elementary school teachers in extinction. The gender gap and the feminisation of elementary schools

Gender discrimination and stereotyping issues have taken an appreciable attention the last decades by media and research, leading to policy reformations and even to legislation amendments in respect to equality. Despite that, stereotypes are still apparent and in certain cases robust. In other words, stereotypes seem to be profound about certain jobs. A man will choose from a fixed set of masculine careers to make his living, and women will have to choose from another fixed set of feminine careers to make her living. One occupation that is suffering from gender imbalance in the EU is elementary school teacher. In this article is discussed the gender gap of teaching staff in primary schools in the EU. Read more [...]

The “Lost Generation” of European Scientists: How can we make the system more sustainable?

The "Lost Generation" refers to the growing cohort of senior post-doctoral researchers and other scientists who, after completing short-term contracts and temporary positions, find themselves excluded from research careers due to the lack of opportunities for permanent research positions. This cohort must contend with a ‘game’ whose rules no longer apply in today’s overcrowded and hyper-competitive research environment. Often, the difficulty in obtaining a full-time research position is further exacerbated by geographical, social, and familial constraints, and a lack of transferable skills that would enable a career switch. The loss of these highly trained individuals to our research institutions and to industry creates instability and represents an inefficient use of human talent and financial resources. Although the problem is not new, it is a critical issue and more needs to be done to address the needs of this cohort. Our goal is to launch a discussion with all relevant stakeholders toward actionable ideas to these systemic problems. Read more [...]

Family Friendly Research to boost Science Careers of Women

The balance between professional and personal life plays a key role for successful careers of European researchers, especially for women scientists. As far as employment and reconciliation of work and life are concerned, female employment rates remain low especially in Southern Europe and East Europe and in general even more for women with low education. Antidiscrimination laws have been adopted, but gender gaps are still large. Lack of child care services and care facilities for the elderly combined with rigid work arrangements make it hard to reconcile work and family life. Read more [...]

How implicit bias can undermine academic meritocracy

The League of European Research Universities, LERU, has just published a paper pertaining to gender bias in academia. In this opinion piece, Jadranka Gvozdanovic, professor of Slavic studies and rector’s envoy for equal opportunities at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, who is also chair of LERU’s thematic group on gender and Katrien Maes, deputy-secretary-general of LERU, share their opinion on the much needed measures to counter gender bias in research institutions. Read more [...]

Predictions for the lab of the future

There are so many innovations waiting to serve scientists that it is quite incredible they have not been adopted sooner. In this insightful opinion piece, Simon Bungers, co-founder of labfolder, an electronic laboratory notebook for researchers, outlines his vision on how scientists' lives will be transformed by wider adoption of solutions supported by artificial intelligence and the emergence of the likes of blockchain-based solutions to gain greater data reproducibility. Read more [...]

Quality check on the newer UK universities

The UK University league tables do not use scientific contribution as a core value of university competition at national level. To assess the relative performance of the newer UK universities created after 1992, following a government reform graduating technical colleagues to the status of universities, can be done by looking at their scientific output. In this article, Solomon Habtemariam, principal lecturer and leader of Pharmacognosy Research laboratories at the University of Greenwich, UK, assesses the scientific publication output, 25 years after the creation of these newer universities. This makes for a sobering reading to any other European countries who have brought newer universities on stream. Read more [...]

The secret to making family life compatible with an academic career

EuroScientist celebrates International Women's Day 2017 by covering a study giving food for thought on the issue of work/life balance for career scientists. Germany has traditionally looked down on mothers pursuing their career in the immediate few years after their children were born. However, a new survey by the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) shows that there are several key factors influencing researchers to stay in academia. These include the ability to self-determine their working hours, a flexible workplace and the existence of a long-term professional perspective. Clearly, respondents to the survey from both genders appear to strive for a better work/life balance. But it may take another generation for old habits to die. Read more [...]

The Scientists Dating Forum celebrated an event linking science and society in a relaxed environment for the first time

‘How democratic should science be?’ was the question that opened the first Scientists Dating Forum public event. In the evening of the 26th October, around 30 people meet in Flatherty’s Irish Pub (Barcelona) to discuss the participation of society in science while having a beer. Read more [...]