Last week Naturejobs joined more than 100 representatives of funding agencies, research councils, universities and research institutes from across the globe for a workshop on how to track researchers’ careers. The workshop, held in Luxembourg and coordinated by the European Science Foundation (ESF) and Luxembourg’s National Research Fund (FNR), covered a wide range of topics – including how success in a science career should be defined for the purposes of career tracking.
It’s an important issue for both decision makers and scientists to consider because career-tracking studies can be used to judge the impact of funding. And although there have been surprisingly few studies to date – primarily due to running costs – the profile of attendees at the workshop suggests career tracking will play a larger role in funding considerations in the future. So how would you, as a working scientist, define a successful career in science?
Several factors for defining success were put forward by the attendees at the workshop, shown below in no particular order. Please vote for your top three in our poll, and let us know what you think of the suggestions by leaving a comment below. What would you prioritise or dismiss? What is missing? And would you agree or disagree that there are a variety of successful careers for researchers, including those outside academia?
The results of the poll and comments posted below will be considered for inclusion in the final report of the ESF-FNR workshop, and may influence future career-tracking studies, so please feel free to make your views known.
Factors for defining success in science careers
- Generation of new research ideas (original research and methods)
- Production of research relevant to society
- The impact of research on society
- Personal satisfaction/quality of life
- (International) networking and professional contacts
- Diversity (including gender)
- Leadership position
- Attractiveness to next generations
- Salary/income (in relation to national system)
- Quality of working environment
- Quality of research infrastructure