Pursuing a research career is tough in any nation, maybe especially so for junior scientists who are facing a difficult path and have far fewer traditional metrics to ease their way: grants and funding, publications, collaborations.
But breakthrough discoveries often require out-of-the-box thinking, and junior researchers may be more likely to bring different perspectives to their work. Yet they are stymied and discouraged by too little funding, too few positions and so much competition. Does it have to be like this?
A group of researchers in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, doesn’t think so. They’ve drafted a treatise that calls for radical changes to funding schemes to empower researchers, mechanisms to improve mobility and incorporating research into education. The document, known as the Bratislava Declaration on Young Researchers, is part of the Slovakian presidency of the council of the European Union.
The declaration was officially presented by the Minister of Education Peter Plavčan and Commissioner Carlos Moedas. It will be annexed to the Council conclusions for adoption at the Competitiveness Council on 29 November 2016 in Brussels. Will it make a difference? We’re remaining optimistic.
You can sign the decleration here.