In these draft Council conclusions on ‘Measures to support young researchers, raise the attractiveness of scientific careers and foster investment in human potential in research and development’, the Council notes:
- the important role new generations of researchers and scientists play for Europe’s future research and innovation and notes that there are still important barriers for young researchers when it comes to entering the scientific community and points to the aspirations young researchers have identified in the Bratislava Declaration of 19 July 2016.
- the need to support young researchers in their careers. The Council calls upon both the European Commission and the Member States to explore innovative ways of supporting young researchers, providing better career security and allowing them to have an independent and stable career trajectory, based on quality and excellence.
- open recruitment in compliance with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and a Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers is essential.
- the Council also encourages the ERC Scientific Council to consider establishing Junior ERC Grants as a pilot. The Council also takes note of the Commission Communication on a “New Skills Agenda for Europe” and the accompanying proposals form June 2016.
The Presidency also mentions the potential the Commission’s intention to review the Higher Education Modernisation Agenda can have in improving the synergies between ERA and addressing the issues relevant to young researchers.
The Council then goes on to call upon the Member States to:
- Further promote science, research careers and the importance of scientists in society
- Strengthen science education in all types and levels of curricula based on best practices and research results.
- Establish more permanent positions and clear and structured career paths, to foster transparent recruitment procedures via instruments such as the ’Open, Transparent and Merit based Recruitment toolkit’ to establish a new generation of researchers in Europe that is risk-taking and pushing the boundaries of frontier research
- Establish a database of senior researchers from universitiaes, academies of sciences and industry willing to work with young researchers during and before and after their university studies
- Encourage universitites to give more freedom to top young researchers with the aim of finding a better balance between research and teching work
- Consider more permanent positions for young researchers
- Encourage the national funding agencies to consider reorganising the funding schemes in ordert o empower best young researchers enabling them to pursue their ideas
- Consider a minimum wage for PhD students
The Council also calls upon the European Commission to:
- Explore integrated ways of networking the best young European researchers and to help young researchers to advance their careers and to introduce them tot he tools and grants that exist at national and European level
- Better use data from EUROSTAT and OECD to support young researchers and to define their biggest challenges
- Explore the possibility of strengthening short-term and virtual mobility schemes
- Establish an inducement prize for excellent young researchers, such as the Matej Bel Prize
- Establish a database of medal winners of the International Science Olympiades (in 13 disciplines) to raise awareness in academia, industry and society of young researchers and their potential.
The Council also calls upon young
researchers themselves to become ambassadors of the transformations that
scientific development brings to society and to actively contribute to the buy
in of European citizens to those changes.