Working conditions in research

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23 februari 2024

As members of the EU Working Group, Miro Honty and Frank Vandervoort invite you to provide feedback regarding “Working conditions in research”
In the presentation below you can find the project background and results of a survey on the topic.
Finally, also open questions where you can mail us your point of view.

One of the European Commission’s spearheads to support European industry is the policy to support research and innovation. These policies include, inter alia, European Research Area (ERA), European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, Pact for Research and Innovation in Europe and Council recommendation on a European framework to attract and retain research, innovation and entrepreneurial talents in Europe. Despite R&D is vital for economic and social growth, there remain still challenges for researchers in Europe related to increasing trend towards precariousness of employment in research, loss of talent, reduction of job security in many EU countries all leading to the need to promote attractive working conditions beyond the existing EU policies for research.

In order to reach EU strategic goals in the research for the coming years, the EU launched the initiatives to raise awareness of working and employment conditions of researchers in Europe, to identify national and European trade union policies and activities directed towards the needs of researchers in Europe and consequently developing policy guidelines, promote the exchange of good trade union practices on supporting and representing researchers and to address the priorities of working conditions of researchers in Europe.

In the further debate about EU research policy direction, the trade unions play an important role. Therefore, at the request of the European Commission, a working group has been set up. This working group involves trade union representatives from academia and non-academia and serves as advisory body for EU policy makers in the field of the research and innovation.  

The working group that has been put together consists of experienced trade unionists from various European countries represent the target group. They are union representatives from universities or research institutes.

From each country there are 1 or 2 representatives. For Belgium, the 2 representatives in this working group are employees of SCK CEN (Miro Honty & Frank Vandervoort), so you will receive first-hand information on the progress of this EU project. The output of the project will be used as a base to prepare future EU policy.

We will inform you about the themes, the surveys and also ask for your advice or experience. Themes to be covered include, but are not limited to:

Are you frequently faced with increased funding uncertainty leading to insecure career development? Do you feel that administrative burden on researchers increases? Do you have enough career opportunities? Do you know colleagues with short-term contracts due to funding constraints? Did you experience increase of research competition leading to higher work load and distress? Do you have enough opportunities for cross-border mobility and collaboration? These are some of the key questions, which may raise the concerns among researchers across the Europe. You as a researcher at SCK•CEN may play an active role in the debate. Your opinion can also help in shaping the future research landscape in the EU.

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