The dreaded brain drain from the Western Balkans may actually be good for development, according to a report which finds that most students emigrate only to return more educated within five years, bringing back newly acquired skills. “Skill migration Read more […]
A line of people in white coat queuing in front of Valencia’s train station is quite an unusual sight. Yet, this scene was not part of a movie rehearsal. Rather, it was reported in prime time news on Spanish television, on 19th December 2013. This action was part of a scientists’ protest taking place in 20 cities in Spain.This reflect how scientists are increasingly deploying activists’ techniques to fight back the effects of the recession on research.
Early this year, the news hit the Portuguese scientific community as a cold blow: the national agency for science and technology FCT was unable to fund all of the research projects rated as excellent. Needless to say, this unprecedented event immediately caused uproar among researchers across all disciplines. But as often happens, where some scream outrage, others see a ray of sunshine.
“Reason for your visit?” – the immigration officer asks sharply. “I’m looking for a job. I’m coming for some interviews”. “But you used to live here…” he points out, looking carefully at an expired visa. “For more than a decade” I answer. He looks at the front page of my worn-out passport. “Spain…things are not good over there, are they?” I nod. “Good luck,” he says, letting us go through.
In Portugal, science friendly policies continue in current times of severe financial restrictions. Indeed, public budgets were preferentially spared and re-directed to the essentials. And a more efficient spending has brought more money to the system than in previous years. The decision of Pedro Passos Coelho, the Portuguese Prime Minister, to create and chair a new advisory body: the National Council for Science and Technology, in 2012 brought another positive initiative to support science in Portugal.
After 2008, the global crisis had hit the Greek economy for good and affected academia and its funding. My attempts to fund my R&D work through EU and National projects, or via outside collaborations, were unsuccessful. Despite these setbacks, Greek artificial intelligence scientist Nikolas Nanas decided to turn his PhD work on adaptive information filtering into a real world application that became the NOOWIT magazine platform.
The European Union needs a million more researchers over the next decade and it plans to devote 3% of GDP to R&D by 2020 to keep up with its main economic competitors and be a knowledge-based economy, according to this year’s European Commission Researchers’ Read more […]
Republika Srpska, the Serbian entity in the highly ethnically and politically divided Bosnia and Herzegovina, has a new science strategy, complete with an action plan to internationalise its currently dismal science, link it to industry and boost funding Read more […]
The largest conference in your field is right around the corner. You might have the prettiest poster and the most tantalising talk, but unless you fully recognise and seize the vast and critical opportunities presented there, your conference experience will be a bust and your career will be negatively affected.
Recently, a newly minted science doctorate asked me for some help finding a job. He had applied for hundreds of advertised openings, both postdoc and non-academic positions, but to no avail. So I asked him about his networking strategy. “What networking strategy?” he replied, clueless to what I was referring. I spent the next hour emphasising the importance of networking in finding hidden job opportunities and communicating your value to decision-makers. I outlined for him a customised networking plan which would enable him to meet and interact with professionals who have the power to hire him for the jobs he so desperately wanted. When our meeting concluded, I asked for feedback on the career consulting session – “Did you find our discussion helpful?” I inquired, thinking I was up for a major pat on the back. “No,” he said instantly. “You didn’t tell me where I can apply for a job or places where there are more advertisements for jobs.”
Michael Conway discusses the UK’s drastic shake up to University funding and student fees.
So you’ve got a theoretical PhD… but what next? There are some career possibilities which combine the advantages of university and industry.