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Early career researchers call EU to rethink system for future talent

A group of early-stage career researchers from across Europe have come together and launched a call for the EU to recognise the unique role of young researches and address a need for support systems that advance young talent and fresh ideas, divorced of age, gender or nationality. 

These efforts have resulted in the Bratislava Declaration of Young Researchers, and ten young scientists, involved in its preparation, presented and discussed the declaration’s mission and goals during an informal meeting of The Council of Ministers responsible for Competitiveness. EU Commissioner for Science, Research and Innovation Carlos Moedas joined the dialogue in Bratislava, that was chaired by Slovakia’s Minister for Education, Science, Research and sport.
Key discussions to effectively support early career researches centred on the attraction of next generation talent in the field, from within the EU and third countries, and increasing the appeal of science based careers. Talks towards the attainment of these goals included a view towards greater investments and new funding structures to develop human capacities and open new pathways to more fully explore the potentials of  a young research force.

In line with ambitions embedded in the leading motto of the current Slovak presidency of the Council – “fostering and development of talent’’ - the declaration seeks improvements on 4 dimensions:

  1. Enabling great people and their ideas, by reorganising funding streams to support fresh ideas that will tackle contemporary challenges as well as opening research and funding opportunities at the undergraduate and high school level. 
  2. Sustainable and transparent career trajectories supported by clear criteria for career progression and opportunities for non-traditional professional pathways, including increased mobility and training.
  3. Foster diverse and open research environments that command the removal of barriers for inter-disciplinarily and wider participation, support ideas spanning disciplinary arenas and secure free sharing practices through open access and open innovation strategies.
  4. Support for work-life balance, such as flexible work practices and dual-career opportunities including placing greater value on diverse forms of mobility beyond geographic reach.
The Competitive Council (research) will receive the declaration for adoption end November 2016.

Slovakia’s presidency places Special emphasis on creating better framework conditions that will foster the growth of a next generation of European scientist, including the attraction of global research talent (see ACA newsletter - Education Europe, July 2016). The declaration can be anticipated to contribute to sustaining a dialogue on how to best 'unleash' the potential of a young scientific community and allow early stage researchers to take an active role in policy development.

Bratislava Declaration SHARE