Bratislava Declaration step in the Right Direction
The Guild welcomes the initiative of the Slovak Presidency to highlight the importance of enabling and encouraging the careers of young researchers.
We welcome the Bratislava Declaration of Young Researchers, drawn up with the help of ten Young Researchers, including two from Guild member universities – Lynn Kamerlin at Uppsala University and Charikleia Tzanakou at the University of Warwick.
The Guild urges the Commission to develop new mechanisms so that key demands of the Declaration – such as an insistence of the diversity of researchers irrespective of age, gender or ethnicity, be realized through new funding mechanisms. As a community of universities operating across national boundaries we, too, recognize the difficulty of translating academic careers from one national system to the other. It is critical, therefore, that national governments and national funding bodies work harder to reduce the practical barriers of movement for researchers and academics. As the Declaration notes, researchers are key to the success of the European knowledge economy, and it is critical that they can thrive within universities, and in other private or public settings.
The Declaration also poses a number of challenges that need to be addressed urgently. How can researchers be encouraged through appropriate laboratory facilities, and competitive salaries by EU standards, across the whole of Europe – and not just in its wealthier parts? How can European states ensure through their education systems that the very best young minds, irrespective of gender or ethnicity, reach universities in the first place? And we suggest that the issue of creating a congenial place for young researchers cannot be addressed without also considering the question of research-led education, of how we ensure that students are best prepared for a life of research, within and beyond universities.
More information on the Bratislava Declaration can be found here: http://www.eu2016.sk/en/press-releases/ministers-for-competitiveness-call-on-support-for-a-new-generation-of-scientists-by-presenting-the-bratislava-declaration-on-young-researchers