Emmanuelle Charpentier: European research funding could do with less red tape

In the second instalment of a two-part series, Emmanuelle Charpentier, head of regulation and infection biology at the Max-Planck-Institut in Berlin, Germany, gives her opinion on the challenges in obtaining research funding in the current system in Europe. She also shares her views on how mobility can be hampered by bureaucracy. Finally, she points to the limited coherence for scientists pursuing a research career in Europe. Clearly, many efforts have yet to be made to improve the condition of scientists in Europe.

Can ethics training improve the quality of research?

Critiques are increasingly challenging the way research is being performed. Recent scandals revealing scientific fraud have made media headlines. Meanwhile, some are challenging the established ways of measuring research. It appears that research integrity is not sufficiently ingrained in the current practice of science. So much so, that it sometimes appear like an unattainable goal. To remedy this problem, some believe that part of the solution lies in making research integrity training compulsory, even though it is far from being a magic bullet.

Does mobility boost early scientific careers?

Young scientists are expected to change country and jobs every few years on average to get a chance to progress their academic career. Mobility in science stems from a long tradition. It is favoured for bringing very enriching experiences. But post docs and their scientific work do not always benefit from mobility. Here, EuroScientist looks into how being on the move every few years affects the life of researchers and looks at ways of enhancing work/life balance.

Are the disruptions of uberisation a bane or boon for science?

For every characteristic of uberisation, there is a parallel in the world of research. This raises the question of whether research was “uberised” before Uber even existed? In this article EuroScientist explores which aspects in research have been most impacted by technology, and the challenges ahead to leverage uberisation for the good of science and scientists.

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Progressive policies to improve the gender balance in scientific research

The Irish funding agency, Science Foundation Ireland, is at the forefront of progressive policies designed to improve gender balance in the research they fund. These policies have gradually been introduced to respond to a need to ensure that excellence–and not whether they are having children–is the only criteria determining women’s chance of being funded. In this opinion piece, SFI’s Fiona Blighe explains how the various schemes in place work.

European Young Researchers Award (EYRA) 2016: Call now open

If you are interested in applying to The European Young Researchers Award (EYRA), read on… It has been awarded by EuroScience to researchers demonstrating outstanding research performance and leadership since 2010. It aims at inspiring early stage researchers to incorporate a European dimension and perspective into their research. The Award is granted each year; in odd years, the prize is dedicated to PhD candidates, and in even years to post-doctoral fellows. The prize-giving-ceremony is held every two years at the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) where the two recipients will present their work.

Costas Fotakis: Investing in blue sky research helps to create long-term wealth

EuroScientist talks to Costas Fotakis, who is the former research minister for the Syriza leftist government of Alexis Tsipras, in Greece. He has been involved in designing the science policy of the Syriza party, which is competing in forthcoming national elections on Sunday 20th September 2015. In this exclusive interview to EuroScientist, he shares his view on how to build research capabilities in Greece.

Why do self-made women rely on mentors?

The title of this article may sound like a self-help book. Yet, mentoring takes place spontaneously as part of the scientific process. Indeed, the concept of mentoring is as old as science itself as mentoring plays a very important role in the hierarchic scientific system. There, scientists are recommended by reputation. Yet evaluation procedures designed to be neutral are sometimes still overshadowed by the influence of the so-called “old boys’ networks”. So what needs to happen?

A final plea to save Portuguese science

A group representing various research centres in Portugal met, on 27th July 2015, the recently appointed president of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), Maria Arménia Carrondo. This was a plea to reverse the latest round of budget cuts to research centres. Unfortunately, the meeting did not produce positive results. Meanwhile, a report by an international panel that evaluated FCT’s policy and functioning in quite a eulogistic manner, also failed to address this issue of budget cuts in detail. So what needs to happen?