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Career choice researcher – international workshop by SAIA in Bratislava

Under the auspices of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), ACA’s Slovak member organization – the Slovak Academic Information Agency (SAIA, n.o.) – organized, together with EURAXESS Slovakia, a highly interactive and intellectually stimulating international workshop in Bratislava, on 9 November 2016.

Under the title “Career choice researcher”, the event gathered close to 100 delegates to discuss about career paths and career development of researchers, in the spirit of the Bratislava Declaration of Young Researchers (of 19 July 2016). The workshop also served as a venue for participants to look into and to provide feedback on the preliminary results of the REFLEX project, or Responsive & Flexible Career Development Framework for Researchers in full.

The REFLEX project is a joint initiative of SAIA, n.o. (Slovakia), ETH Zürich (Switzerland), NTNU Trondheim (Norway), Bay Zoltán Nonprofit Ltd (Hungary) and the University of Copenhagen (Denmark). The main aim of the project and of subsequent outputs is to enable researchers (particularly the early-stage ones) to better manage their careers by making them fully aware of available resources, career options and patterns both within, as well as outside academia. Set to create “intelligent support mechanisms for intelligent careers”, the REFLEX project team developed – based on reviews of literature, institutional practice and on national scenario workshops – a Career Development Framework, an ensuing General Training Model System (GTMS) for Career Development, and last but not least an online application for a Career Development Training Scheme. 

The REFLEX online application, which is currently available in testing mode via the REFLEX website is to be used at institutional level, and can be tailor-made according to each institution’s needs and specific context, to

  • generate a collaborative mapping of the Career Development related activities and services provided at the institution;
  • for drafting the comprehensive institutional strategies of Career Development support; and
  • to present the offered Career Development activities and services to researchers through a single interface.

The online tool covers support measures in 5 main areas that are perceived as critical for researchers’ career success:
  • Mobility – supporting the researchers’ ability to move freely and easily.
  • Networking – facilitating interaction with others to exchange information, provide support and develop professional and/or social contacts.
  • Career advice – helping and encouraging researchers to create opportunities for progress in their current and future work, including tools for career clarification.
  • Academic skills and development – including on writing, teaching, applying for grants, planning, managing, publishing, etc.
  • Company and organizational interaction – providing information on career options outside academia.

The final version of the online tool and a step-by-step guide on how to use it will be made available by the end of 2016 on the project’s website. The presentations delivered during the Bratislava workshop of 9 November can be accessed via the project website as well.

Bratislava Declaration of Young Researchers