One World, One Lab: science meets culture in Vietnam

I want to learn what makes scientists tick. And what is important in their lives. I found some answers at the Agricultural Genetics Institute, in Hanoi, Vietnam. This is the first of a documentary series, called One World One Lab, featuring scientists from eight different countries around the world. This video is a window into the research world, which is not about complex research data. Instead, it is about culture, street life, religion and all the strange and tasty foods.

Mary Phillips: The academic evaluation conundrum

Mary Phillips has worked as an academic in biomedical sciences at Oxford University, UK, as a funder with the Wellcome Trust, in London, and as director of research planning for University College London. Find out her unique perspective on the limitations of the existing evaluation systems, be it for academic institutions or individual scientists. In this exclusive interview with the EuroScientist, she shares the lessons learned from her various positions related to academia.

Tenure track: key to attract top talent?

Recruiting and retaining the best researchers is a key challenge for Europe. Talks about introducing an attractive career structures with prospects for advancement, such as a tenure track, are ripe. Well-established in the US and increasingly in the UK, tenure track provides a clear, merit-based system that takes excellent researchers from postdoc to professor. But even if it is desirable, it does not guarantee more time for research given the increasingly bureaucratic nature of the job of university professor.

Change needed for Spain to compete internationally

Science is an activity that needs to be planned with a long-term perspective. It is the only successful way of doing science. The system in Spain has to be changed to be able to contract the best people in each field. It might also help if prestigious calls like the ERC grant calls could account for the fact that countries are being faced with economic hardship and therefore give their scientists a chance to compete on a more level playing field.

Spain: The Goverment needs to show the world it believes in science

In the last years Spanish budget in R&D has suffered strong reductions. Only in 2012 the reduction of public budget devoted to R&D was of 25% with respect to the previous year. Moreover, looking in some detail the figures one sees that the reduction in the sort of public funding to which Universities and Research Institutes may accede have decreased by 45% since 2009. We need to show the world that we believe in science

Academics hired, but not appointed: a new Greek tragedy in the making

In 2008, after 5 years abroad as a postdoc, I decided to return home. I left the offer of a new three-year contract behind in order to return to an insecure Greek research environment. I felt I should offer something back to the Greek university system which I felt I owed a lot to. Now, two years after being elected as an assistant professor and still waiting to be appointed, I have started considering other options such as emigration, out of respect to myself both personally as well as professionally.

Spain: Uninformed wishful thinking as R&D policy shunts public research support

“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.