Europe’s Grand Societal Challenges - The Role of Early Stage Researchers

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The working conditions of young researchers, their future perspectives and the role of scientific research in society were the main topics debated at the EURODOC’13 conference that took place at the Fundação Caloust Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal, between 4th and 5th of April, which hosted 300 researchers from different countries.

The event was jointly organised by EURODOC (The European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers) and the Portuguese Association of the Grant-holding Researchers (ABIC- Associação dos Bolseiros de Investigação Científica), with the theme “Europe’s Grand Societal Challenges: the role of Early Stage Researchers”. The conference was opened by Slobodan Radicev, president of Eurodoc, and André Janeco, president of ABIC.

Members of EURODOC (35 national associations of doctorates and young researchers from 34 countries of the European Union and the Council of Europe) highlighted the economic situation in Europe, and the challenges that researchers, in the beginning of their career, have to face. Slobodan Radicev said that “We have to fight for our rights and our role in and outside research institutions, no one else is going to do that for us. We need to take responsibility and give our maximum to make Europe and all European societies a better place for research and living.” André Janeco stressed the fact that this conference was held for the first time in Portugal, “a country with its difficulties and its particularities in research, but also in economic, social and labour conditions”. He expressed his hope that “we can reinforce wider visions on justice and solidarity policies in Europe”.

Based on these themes in mind, EURODOC’13 held four plenary sessions with distinguished speakers from various International, European and national organisations. The topics were:

  • Plenary session I: The EU 2020 Framework Programmes for Research and Sustainable Innovation
  • Plenary session II: Growing in a Healthy Environment: New trends in Research
  • Plenary Session III: Working and research within the Framework of a Sustainable Society
  • Plenary Session IV: Science, Communication and Social Change

Positive evaluation by participants

Feedback from the participants was very positive. One of the highlighted points was the relation between EUROPE 2020 and Horizon 2020 and the practical cases that reveal the societal challenges tackled by researchers. “I liked, in a special way, that it was focused during the first day on the theoretical and political questions, and during the second day on the social aspects of our daily work as researchers”, explained Catarina Costeira, PhD candidate from Portugal. The diversity of the themes analysed was also one of the aspects praised by the participants. “They invited a lot of speakers with a large reputation and from different areas”, said a PhD candidate representing Belgium. “In this event we had the opportunity to discuss different topics. All of this brings an additional value to the conference”, added a member from Macedonia. The precarious financial condition of some countries was also discussed during the two days of the event that combined, in the same place, different researchers from all over Europe. “The divulgationof the problems that young researchers have to live with should be one of the aspects financed by European Union”, said one Greek researcher. “This event should happen more often”, concluded a French researcher.

Annual General Meeting

At Eurodoc’s Annual General Meeting, which took place on April 6-7, a new Eurodoc Board was elected. Slobodan Radicev (Serbia) was re-elected as President of Eurodoc, with the other positions being filled by Kristina Majsec (Vice-president – Croatia), John Peacock (Secretary – Belgium), Patrick Tuijp (Treasurer – The Netherlands), and Jovan Shopovski (Macedonia), Marcin Styrna (Poland) and Ivo Neto (Portugal) as General Board Members.

In the upcoming year, the newly elected board will have its mission: strengthening the position of Eurodoc as a stakeholder in the European research area and higher education area; promoting the importance of the work of PhD candidates and young researchers for improvement of their social conditions; strengthening and reinforcing internal communication with individual volunteers and member associations, as well as institutional partners. The next international conference and annual general meeting, EURODOC’14, will be organized by DOSz (Doktoranduszok Országos Szövetsége) and hosted in Budapest, Hungary.

Taken from www.eurodoc.net

You may download the PDF here

The summary video of the Science Slam is finally online!!

Do you remember the Slam?

  • 5 Slammers
  • Awesome Konrad food

Location: Casino, forum d'art contemporain 

Date: Octobre 3rd, 2012

http://vimeo.com/63102802

Dear LuxDoc Members,

 Mentoring0Mentoring1

Save the date : 23rd and 24th of November

Workshop on developing Mentoring Skills for Doctoral Candidates

 

What is a mentoring program?

Starting a PhD thesis is a moment loaded with difficulties. How do I manage my time wisely, how do I get funding for attending conferences, what should I do when I have motivational problems? These are some of the challenges that a new PhD candidate may face when starting off in an academic career. All over Europe, so-called mentoring programs have been set up to help starting PhD candidates to avoid some of the pitfalls associated with a PhD journey. The aim of such mentoring programs is to encourage and support new PhD students through group meetings with a more experienced/advanced young researcher. Through mentoring programs, PhD students can acquire the necessary skills and tools in order to establish themselves in the academic world.

Unfortunately, such a mentoring and support structure has not yet been set up in the relatively recent academic world of Luxembourg. LuxDoc wants to fill in this gap by setting up a mentoring structure for PhD candidates in Luxembourg. For doing so, LuxDoc can rely on successful training structures which have emerged elsewhere. The general idea is that a tutor accompanies a small group (maximum six people) of young researchers, making them profit from his/her experience in the academic world. Each group is free to organise the meetings as well as the content of these meetings according to the needs expressed by the participants.

A first step in setting up a mentoring program for the Luxembourgish context is to train a first generation of future tutors. In such a training program, more experienced PhD students will acquire a set of skills to accompany starting PhD students and will learn how to successfully lead a group.

 

On November 23rd and 24th, Centre Gabriel Lippman will host the first Mentoring workshop. You want to join and become a tutor ?

Sign up at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Participation for LuxDoc members is free.

Participation for non-members is 75€.

Dear all,

we are very proud to announce the first LuxDoc Science Slam, taking place October 3rd 2012 (Wednesday)!

Doors at 7 PM at the Casino – Forum d’Art Moderne in Luxembourg-City.

If you feel like presenting your research in a nontraditional, creative way or watching your fellow research colleagues in doing so - this is your chance!!

Don’t miss this big event!

Register now at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – spots are limited, both for spectators and for slammers!

Deadline for reservation is September 12th!

For more informations have a look at the flyer and poster and your favourite website www.luxdoc.org

Hope to see you on October the 3rd,

Best Regards,

 

Your Science Slam Organizing Committee

Laura, Fränz and Christian
 
P.S.: Feel free to forward the flyer and the poster to anyone interested!
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We had a great time at the Schueberfouer. Will you join us next time?
 
Here is a small souvenir picture.
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