Tag Archives: Science career

For the sake of Italian science and culture

Italian scientific research and university systems are in a dramatic position. The poisonous fruit of the recently approved university reform—referred to as the Gelmini law— assisted by the actions of successive governments, are reaching their goal: downsizing the university system and introducing a political control, never attempted before, on basic research. Now a vast movement of researchers across Europe is organising a series of initiatives during the autumn with the aim of bringing research and innovation to the public attention and at the centre of governments’ action. Read more [...]

Pupils’ exposure to real-life science applications could sway their career choice

A recent study analyses the views of secondary school pupils from 21 countries on their engagement with STEM subjects in and outside school, and includes their career choices. All countries represented are involved in the inGenious project, an EU-funded platform aiming to promote school-industry collaboration on STEM education. Read more [...]

Removing some uncertainty from the career equation

Not having a defined career structure, is for many scientists in Europe today, a frustrating reality. One might argue that quantum physicists might tolerate this level of uncertainty better than others. Yet, this trend seems to be here to stay. In this special issue of the Euroscientist, we explore the shift in the working culture of our society affecting scientists. This results in changes imposed by both the global economic context and the evolution of technology. Thus, scientists' career paths increasingly look like a collection of collaborations with one-off research projects with a set duration. Read more [...]

The end of the wage labour: what you know is who you know

Internships, short-term contracts, job hunting, race to publish, growing importance of network relationships. In recent years, the working condition of researchers has been completely transformed. In this open world context, the demand for individual autonomy fuels the competition between job candidates. As a result, research work and careers are no longer fostered in a sustainable environment. Above all, what matters today, is also their ability to enhance their network because in this new world, what you know is who you know. Read more [...]

Part-time managers in Europe: culture and gender matter

Achieving a work-life balance is a challenge for many people working today. Yet, the idea of a shorter working week is undergoing something of a revival. Part-time work can, in principle, contribute to calming down the ‘rush hour of life’. However, it is not always a possible. This is particularly the case for people in management positions. The proportion of managers working part-time varies considerably across countries. Our multilevel analyses show that it is cultural factors and normative expectations rather than legal regulations, which explain these differences. Read more [...]

A ‘single market for research’ is closer, but not yet a reality

It is widely accepted that Europe needs more investment in research and innovation. Investment that will advance knowledge, make people's lives better, and safeguard our economic competitiveness. What is less well understood is that spending alone is not enough. The money needs to be spent efficiently and with the greatest possible impact. That's why making the European Research Area (ERA) a reality is a key structural reform for Europe. The ERA Progress Report 2013, the first of its kind, shows that in many countries policies are in place to support a single market for research jobs. However, it also shows that we still have a long way to go. Read more [...]

Career transition: chance favours the prepared mind

As Louis Pasteur once said, “chance only favours the prepared mind”. This applies to the field of scientific discovery as well as to career management. Alas, young scientists very often lack the methods to steer their own career. Our experience of helping PhDs find jobs outside academia shows that once young scientists realise that these methods are quite simple to learn, their quest for a dream job becomes easier. Read more [...]

Career choices in and out of academia – Carl Johan Sundberg Interview

In an exclusive interview to a special issue of the Euroscientist, Carl Johan Sundberg, who is professor of physiology and pharmacology and the head of the bioentrepreneurship unit at the Karolinska Institute, shares his views on European science career paths. The greatest challenge today is that most researchers are moving from contract to contract. He sees the need for universities to introduce complementary skills training into PhD courses to ensure that scientists are ready to face their future responsibilities in and out of academia. Don't miss other articles of the special issue on European science career paths on Tuesday 10th December! Read more [...]