Best practice of employee status for PhDs in the Netherlands threatened
Eurodoc is greatly concerned about new developments indicating that the employee status of PhD candidates in the Netherlands is no longer secure. At the University of Groningen, a group of scholarship-funded PhD candidates were given student status by the university. This group, along with the trade union Abvakabo FNV, filed a lawsuit against the university of Groningen in order to acquire employee status. The court of appeals in Leeuwarden has now overturned an earlier ruling and ruled in favour of the university, classifying the scholarship-funded PhD candidates as students.
This is the first time that a judge in the Netherlands has ruled that certain PhD candidates are not employees of the university. Earlier cases at the University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University have always resulted in rulings in favour of the PhD candidates, reaffirming their status as employees.
Eurodoc has viewed the employee status of PhD candidates in the Netherlands as a European best practice example since 2005. In the European Charter for Researchers, the European Commission states that early stage researchers, among which doctoral candidates, should be recognized as professionals, and be treated accordingly. The provision of employment contracts to PhD candidates that provide employee benefits such as parental leave, pension rights, sick pay, and unemployment benefits enhances the attractiveness of research careers within Europe. This is necessary to recruit and retain high quality researchers, and to encourage more young people to pursue a career in research. In alignment with the European University Association, as stated in the Salzburg II recommendations, Eurodoc has continuously promoted the professional status of PhD candidates.
Eurodoc explicitly expresses its strong concern that the ruling that classifies certain PhD candidates in the Netherlands as students might lead to crowding out of employee PhDs by student PhDs for financial reasons. This would be a setback for the Dutch system and could prevent progress towards a professional status for doctoral candidates in other European countries .
Eurodoc urges Dutch politicians to protect PhD candidates by enshrining their employee status in law with a guarantee of equal social-security rights for all PhD candidates independent of how their doctoral training is funded.
For more information please contact Patrick Tujip (+31877841381 email@example.com)
Invest in our Future – Invest in Science
The video contest ’Invest in our Future – Invest in science’ invites you to look at the world afresh and realize the great contribution of science to our lives and the amazing possibilities it opens for our future. Show us why you think investing in science is important and you can win 500 Euros! All information about the contest can be found at: www.investinscience.eu and at http://www.facebook.com/investinscience?ref=hl
Eurodocs Career Development workgroup have completed a comprehensive study of collaboration between Eurodoc Member Associations and National Trade Unions. Please read the report here: Survey on the Collaboration between Eurodoc Member Associations and National Trade Unions
Europe’s Grand Societal Challenges
The Role of Early Stage Researchers
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 divulgation of 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.
CALL FOR CONFERECE – New Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientist’s 1st International Baku Forum
In May, 20th to 25th 2013, the Ministry of Youth and Sport of Azerbaijan Republic and Azerbaijan Young Scientists, Postgraduate and Masters Union (AYSPMU), in close cooperation with Eurodoc, organizes the “New Challenges in the European Area: Young Scientist’s 1st International Baku Forum“
The purpose of the Forum is to promote the cooperation between young scientists and researchers from different European countries and disciplines. Furthermore, it aims to establish new relationships and exchange of scientific information and create suitable conditions for the performance of interdisciplinary research in the future. The Forum aims to strengthen the existing young scientist networks within the European Research Area and facilitate the establishment of new international cooperations. Last but not least, it will serve as a platform for discussion on the means for and principles of achieving this mission.
We planed to hold plenary session and 5 parallel sessions in the framework of the 1st International Baku Forum.
The main topic: “Crossing of interest: European young scientist’s experimental works – methods and results”
- Economy and sociology: business development of science and scientists, problems and new methods; scientist’s cooperation with business & economic structures and integration.
- Technical sciences: new works in technical, nano technology, ICT spheres.
- Medicine, biology and chemistry: European young scientist’s scientific works and results in medicine, chemistry& biology.
- Ecology and agriculture: protecting biodiversity, soil contamination, degradation, good state of the water.
- History, philosophy, culture: European young scientist’s cooperation between humanitarian spheres.
All expenses of the participants to the 1st International Baku Forum, including visa cost, travel expenses, accommodation cost and meals, will be covered by the Ministry of Youth and Sport of Azerbaijan Republic.
Young scientists, researchers from 35 member countries of Eurodoc can participate in the 1st International Baku Forum.
The working language of the Baku Forum is English.
Age of participants shall be less than 42.
Please, send your extended abstract (maximum 3 pages, in Times New Roman, 12 sizes) to email:firstname.lastname@example.org till
April 15th 2013. April 20th 2013.
If you have any questions regarding the conference and registration procedure please do not hesitate to contact us by email:email@example.com
More information about the event will be soon on the conference website: http://bakuforum.eurocollab.
The European Young Researchers’ Award (EYRA) is granted to researchers demonstrating outstanding research performance and leadership. At the same time, the award aims to inspire early stage and experienced researchers to incorporate a European dimension and perspective into their research.
The Award is granted each year but the prize-giving-ceremony is held every two years at the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) were the two recipients will present their work.
The Award consists of a Certificate and a grant to cover travel and accommodation for the stay in the ESOF city.
Please note, that the call for 2013 is dedicated to PhD candidates only.
The research should be of demonstrably excellent quality (publications, prizes, grants etc.)
The research must have a clear European dimension, either because it is a collaboration of researchers in different European countries or it is a research project in one European country that addresses a research topic of European added value.
The applicant should have demonstrated independence or/and central role in the research project; should have inspired students working for him as well as colleagues; and should have initiated outreach to wider audiences.
Candidates should work in a European country, but are not required to have a European nationality.
The definition of young researcher in this context is all persons who are enrolled in her/his first PhD at the time of the application deadline. Young researchers who have obtained their PhD after 30 September 2012 are also eligible.
The application should be in English.
Cover page form to be downloaded, completed and included in the application as cover page is available on the ES website
Up to two pages A4 describing the research and its European dimension
Maximum of two pages CV including statement of prizes/awards already received.
A list of publications
The above mentioned documents should be included in a single pdf-file. In addition candidates must supply two letters in support of the nomination, each of no more than two pages A4:
describing why the candidate as a person deserves this award (leadership, inspirational role, outreach to wider audiences),
commenting on the quality and relevance of the specific research and the publications, or mentioning any specific circumstances that would make the award particularly appropriate.
These two letters should be from individuals well qualified in the field, at least one of whom not associated with the research itself.
Applications which do not meet eligibility criteria or do not respect the application procedure in particular the length of documents will NOT BE ACCEPTED.
An international selection Committee will evaluate the applications and select the Awardee.
Please submit the PDF application electronically via email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Identify the nomination file as “last name-first name”.
Call for Applications for the DocLinks Summer School 2013 is open now!
UniPID, in cooperation with the University of Helsinki, will host the second DocLinks Summer School in Helsinki, Finland on July 2-5, 2013. The Call for Applications for the DocLinks Summer School is now open with the deadline for submission on February 15.
The summer school is part of an Erasmus Mundus-funded project, DocLinks (http://doclinks.org/), which aims to increase understanding and establish better links between African and European doctoral candidates and early career researchers. The summer school aims at networking African and European PhD candidates and supporting the research training and career development of the participants, addressing particularly the areas of training where gaps currently exist.
The overarching focus of the 2013 summer school will be on “Bridging Research and Policy for Sustainable Development”, which will allow the participation of African and European doctoral candidates across disciplines. Under this theme, participants will develop their knowledge on various issues related to researchers’ academic responsibilities and roles, and the communication and implementation of research findings, such as:
- · Ideologies, politics and values: academic responsibilities and roles
- · Images of Africa: working with and against stereotypes
- · Communicating research findings to stakeholders, policy makers and media
- · Shifting between theoretical discourse and common language
For more information and the application form, please visit the UniPID website:
EURODOC MISSION AND VISION STATEMENT
Eurodoc’s mission is to represent and consolidate the community of doctoral candidates and junior researchers in Europe in their pursuit of a decent professional life. We aim to be the effective and efficient voice of doctoral candidates and junior researchers at the European level.
At present, despite efforts of over more than a decade to develop a single European Research Area (ERA) and the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), there still exist strong discrepancies in how young researchers are treated throughout Europe and disciplines. Doctoral candidates and junior researchers should be fully recognised as professional workers, and as such they deserve appropriate working conditions and the recognition of their role in policy debates at their respective institutions and at all levels and policy circles where such debates are taking place.
In particular, doctoral candidates and junior researchers working in academia have to be recognised as a vital part of the HEIs “work-force” given their major role in the research and teaching environments, and in the long-term sustainability and success of the HEIs. The work of doctoral candidates and junior researchers should be granted with adequate funding, social security and mobility rights. Researchers, funders and employers should work together to ensure this outcome.
Similarly, employers and funders outside of academia should recognise that holders of PhDs are an added-value to their workforce as highly-skilled professionals with research experiences.
In order to improve young researchers’ working conditions, Eurodoc will:
- Constantly monitor the social and working conditions of doctoral candidates and junior researchers in different member countries and institutions,
- Voice the need for appropriate social security rights of doctoral candidates and junior researchers,
- Encourage institutions to implement the European “Charter and Code” for Researchers,
- Promote “best practices” and encourage the institutions/countries where unfavourable conditions are found in order to improve and elevate their standards,
- Assist its members in announcing and disseminating information concerning unfavourable practices to discourage their continuation
In order to advance the quality of higher education and research in Europe, Eurodoc will:
- Elaborate common position statements on policy issues and teaching and research practices that are of concern to doctoral candidates and junior researchers,
- Represent the positions of doctoral candidates and junior researchers to the relevant European bodies and stakeholders,
- Participate actively in the main institutional events of the European Research Area and the European Higher Education Area
Our vision is an ERA and EHEA in which doctoral candidates and junior researchers are duly recognised and respected for the essential roles they play.