Young researchers call for funding shakeup
The Bratislava Declaration of Young Researchers was presented at a press conference in Slovakia on 19 July following an informal meeting of the EU Competitiveness Council of research and innovation ministers. A declaration calling on the European Commission to “radically reorganise funding streams” for young researchers has been welcomed by the research commissioner Carlos Moedas.
The declaration says that “the current economically oriented, impact-focused, bureaucratic system is not compatible with fresh ideas and fresh thinking that young people have”. It says that a “new paradigm is essential for research to truly transform society and meet the socio-scientific challenges that face us”.
It calls on the Commission to create “sustainable and effective” funding streams for early-career researchers, regardless of their age and including students, to autonomously pursue their research ideas. “Would any of our current systems have funded a young Einstein or a Marie Sklodowska-Curie?” the declaration asks.
The declaration also said the Commission and member states should devise explicit criteria for young researchers’ career progression to improve employment stability, provide opportunities for non-traditional career trajectories, and reform high-school education curricula to better incorporate research skills.
In addition, it called for the Commission and member states to support an equality and diversity charter that should be a pre-requisite for institutions to access EU funds, and to provide the conditions for a reasonable work-life balance.
Speaking at the launch, the research and innovation commissioner Carlos Moedas welcomed the declaration and supported its aspirations. He said that the Commission needed to do “much more” to support young researchers, and that he would work together with the education commissioner Tibor Navracsics to build bridges between education, research and innovation.