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Coimbra Group actively engaged in the EU Conference on Research Careers 2023

22 November 2023

Coimbra Group attended on 21-22 November in Brussels the first European Conference on Research Careers at the invitation of DG RTD. The plenary session on the first day shed light on recent developments at EU level to advance the agenda of more attractive and sustainable research careers, such as the Commission’s proposal for a Council recommendation on a European framework for Research Careers which is expected to be adopted by the EU27 Research Ministers in early December.

The conference addressed structural challenges facing researchers in Europe, among them working conditions, career development, pensions, mobility. Anneke Kastelein, PhD candidate at Leiden University, also emphasized cultural problems which in her views are still to be solved in academia – hierarchical structures, social safety, mental health, precarious positions of early-career researchers, gender equality, diversity.

New EU instruments and other relevant initiatives such as the new European Competence Framework for Researchers (ResearchComp), the revised Charter for Researchers, the RESAVER pension fund, were presented. But the key question in this whole process will be about ensuring that the policy ambition of the Council Recommendation translates into effective change.

The presentation and the replay from this session are now publicly available.

On the second day of the conference, several meetings run in parallel including an informative session on the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R). Coimbra Group (CG) represented by Office Director Emmanuelle Gardan participated in the ad hoc workshop on Action 4 of the ERA Policy Agenda 2022-2024, an action which has been co-sponsored by Coimbra Group for the university sector and Portugal for the member states.

This workshop started with the presentation of the state of play of two ongoing EU-funded projects with relevance for the new European Framework for Research Careers:

  • Sustainable Careers for Researcher Empowerment (SECURE).
  • Transforming Europe Through Doctoral Talent and Skills Recognition (DocTalent4EU).

CG and Portugal co-chaired an interactive session on the tentative objectives and outcomes for a future policy action on careers in the next ERA Policy Agenda for 2025-2027. A draft outline had previously been pitched to the ERA Forum by Emmanuelle Gardan (CG) and Luisa Henriques (Portugal) on 16 November with positive and constructive feedback which was used in the discussion.

Representatives from member states and stakeholders in the ERA Action 4 workshop also had the opportunity to learn more and provide direct feedback on:

  • The future Research and Innovation Careers Observatory (ReiCO) to be launched by the Commission in 2024.
  • A pilot call on “Talent ecosystems” which is foreseen to be included in the current Horizon Europe work programme, and that could open in May 2024, with the objective to support large intersectoral consortia in implementing organisational change to translate the European Framework for Research Careers.
  • The state of play of the European Competence Framework for Researchers (ResearchComp) and opportunities to organise training sessions around its possible use.

The workshop slide set is available on the CG intranet for CG members only.

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