The numbers of people holding a doctorate degree are rising. Their training mainly prepares them for a career in academia and yet only few of them will obtain a secured position in academia, as lecturer and professorial positions are already saturated which implies they will have to look for a career outside academia. Additionally, due to the economic crisis, job opportunities as well as funding have in many countries been reduced, which makes the future for young researchers everything else than straightforward.
Some funding or host institutions are aiming to address these issues, but efforts are not generalized. Other issues such as the portability of social rights and benefits, which have long been on the agenda of national politicians, have not yet found the beginning of a solution. Grass-root organizations and learned societies have a role to play in providing information, advice and support to young scientists, but also to advocate their needs and offer possible solutions to stakeholders and policy makers However, we discovered that efforts to help young researchers are sometimes duplicated by different organisations. This is likely due to missing communication between them, a fact that can severely reduce the effectiveness of such measures.
To make the large range of initiatives more coherent and efficient and not to overlap ongoing activities, we have established a platform/network where young researchers and stakeholders can work together and share experiences. In this way the voice of young researchers will be stronger and more unified.
- OECD (2010a) Careers of doctorate holders: employment and mobility pattern
- Euroscience (2012), Euroscience survey on working conditions and career development of Young Researchers
- European Commission, Research & Innovation (2012), Innovation Union competitiveness report
- OECD (2010b), OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook