Ira Didenkulova gave an oral presentation “Scientific mobility within EU: benefits and challenges” at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018

Ira Didenkulova gave an oral presentation “Scientific mobility within EU: benefits and challenges” at the Union Symposium “Scientific research in a changing European Union: where we stand and what we aim for?” at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018.

Scientific research in a changing European Union

Dr Ira Didenkulova. Credit: EGU
Dr Ira Didenkulova. Credit: EGU

The 2018 EGU General Assembly was a huge success. Not only was it the biggest yet (with over 15,000 participants) but it also held a large variety of Short Courses, Townhalls and Union Symposia that gave the scientists attending a chance to step out of their comfort zone and learn about something other than their area of expertise.

One example of such a session was the Union Symposium titled: Scientific research in a changing European Union: where we stand and what we aim for? This session had some fantastic speakers who described some of the current challenges and potential threats to academics living in the EU as well as the advantages.

Dr Ira Didenkulova, a senior researcher in Tallinn University of Technology, closed the presentation section of the session by focusing on her personal experience of moving from Russia to Estonia soon after it had joined the European Union. She emphasised the importance of the EU’s cross-border programmes, reduced travel bureaucracy and researcher mobility while also explaining some of the benefits of research mobility such as knowledge exchange and increased collaboration. Didenkulova also mentioned the challenges that researchers living abroad may face, despite the European Union’s focus on mobility.

She highlighted some statistics that showed both female researchers and researchers who are parents are less likely to be mobile and stated that more family friendly research meetings and conferences are needed.

I think it’s notable that almost all of speakers underscored not only the abiliy but also the responsibility of scientists to engage with policymakers and the public. The optimism expressed by the speakers regarding the future of the EU despite the challenges, was also refreshing and a great message to all participants on the final day of the 2018 EGU General Assembly.  If this session inspired you to engage more with the public or policymakers you can find various resources and tools to help you on the outreach and policy sections of the EGU website.

A big thank you to all of the speakers and Dr Francesca Pianosi, the moderator of the session. If you missed the session or would like to see it again, you can watch the web streamed version in its entirety here.

Watch the talk

Credit to the EGU blog GEOLOG and Chloe Hill

Eurodoc Conference 2018: Research career – a living dream?

Research career – a living dream?

University of Tampere
Tampere 18-19 April 2018

by Gianna Avellis

The conference was very successful with 200 participants and great invited speakers. The conference was opened by the organiser&sponsors, namely FUURT (The Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers) Miia Ijas, UTA (University of Tampere) rector Liisa Laakso, and EURODOC President Garreth O’Neill.

For the first session on Policy making and the current situation of ECRs, invited speakers came from EU Commission (Fabienne Gauthier), who presented Modern Universities – embracing Open Science challenges and perspectives, FUURT (Lotta Alhnnoro and Tommy Kikoden) who showed the results of the survey on early Career Researchers (ECRs) situation in Finland and Science Europe (Stephan Kuster) who provided some insights on the early career support in a changing research environment.

The second session focussed on Developing doctoral training in Europe addressing the key challenges (Alxander Hasgall from EDU-CDE), systemic change in science and higher education in Poland (Ewelina Pabja czyk-Wlazlo from National Association of Doctoral Candidates , Poland, previous chair of EURODOC) and excellence in doctoral training (Pirjo Nikander from UTA Doctoral School).

Gianna Avellis participated to the third session on Career development and ECRs’ working conditions addressing in her talk both issues of international mobility and gender equality and exploiting the work done in MCAA GEMS WG, MCFA m-WiSET WG and ITWIIN Italian Women Innovators and Inventors Network) on Role Models, concluding her talk by proposing a collaboration to EURODOC to build the database of role models in the Networking and Mobility of women scientists project

funded by Alexander von Humboldt and managed by Ira Didenkulova and Gianna Avellis. The President of EURODOC welcomed this collaboration and put Gianna in contact with the gender equality representatives of EURODOC and the Italian Association ADI of EURODOC for investigating future initiatives among our associations. The third session also addressed the academic conditions and mental health of ECRs by Inge van der Weijden of University of Leiden, and finally stressed the Mela schema for security of grant recipients, by Henry Virtanen. The session was very well conducted by the moderator Filomena Parada from ABIC/EURODOC, who also presented some issues on working conditions of ECRs.

The second day of the conference fostered the discussion on Careers, labour market and mobility, with several speakers from ERC and Academy of Finland, EURAXESS, EURODOC and EIT Alumni. It also addressed the theme of Researchers and Society, underlining the RRI (Responsible Research and Innovation) by ICORSA (Rosarii Griffin) which will be exploited in the HORIZON 2020 RRING project, Young Academy of Europe (YAE Marcel Swart) (Re)presenting the academic society by young leaders, EURODOC Vice president Ieva Silina, who explains the need for researchers to build a personal branding in science.

The conference ended with a Panel Discussion of the main speakers mentioned above coordinated by FUURT (Johanna Moisio) summarizing the challenges that affect the work of researchers and giving some food for thought from the conference: researchers should be trained for work in academia and outside; researchers have a lot of responsibilities especially with the Open Science; researchers are subject to short term contracts; a lot has been done at EU level to address the challenges of researchers to promote mobility, and this is essential and has a big impact for research and economy; different tools at EU level such as EURAXESS, MARIE CURIE, ERC are available to researchers; interdisciplinarity and integration to Open Science is supported at EU level, big collaboration at EU level, at national level and at the level of the association is needed and finally the passion for research has to be shared.

European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018

We are organizing a session “EOS7 Work-Life Balance and Welfare Systems in Research and Industry in Geosciences” at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018!

The travel grant application deadline is 1 December 2017

The abstract submission deadline is 10 January 2018, 13:00 CET

Convener: Maria Bostenaru Dan
Co-Conveners: Ira Didenkulova , Giovanna Avellis , Magdalini Theodoridou , Mirela Adriana Anghelache

Session description:

Employment and reconciliation of work and family life is one issue we aim to address in this session.

Female employment rates remain low, especially in Southern Europe and in general for women with low education. Antidiscrimination laws have been adopted, but gender gaps are still large. We look for success stories of women who succeeded or not in geosciences in history and in present, despite these bad conditions. Personal stories are welcome, as we aim to collect role models.

It is important to strengthen Work Life Balance in Industry, that is to retain the talent pool, companies need to motivate talents to continue working, to return early from leave and to facilitate the career advancement of employees with family care obligations. This and other welfare systems we would like to address in this session. We also look for mobility models, between sectors (academia and industry), between disciplines (geosciences and related disciplines), between countries.

The convener will give an introductory solicited talk on women in greening the city: solutions to more self-sufficient and resilient urban communities, building on last year’s talk of role models from history in landscape planning and geology but also considering natural hazards today, using role models of Marie Curie alumni. The co-conveners active in ERE and NH are thus co-authors. We invite the participants from IE1.6/ERE1.9/BG1.44/HS11.56/SSS13.79 to participate and comment their own experiences.