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Improving Conditions for Research Careers in Europe: Council Adopts Conclusions

On 28 May 2021, the Council adopted conclusions that mark a turning point in the objective to enhance the attractiveness of research careers and brain circulation within the European Research Area (ERA). The conclusions call for the development of an internal market for research that offers improved framework conditions for research careers, both in the academia and beyond.

Manuel Heitor, Portuguese Minister for Science and Technology and Higher Education stated that: "The improvement of researchers' careers has been a top priority for the Portuguese Presidency. The pandemic further highlighted that this is very much needed in order to preserve and promote a resilient and competitive Europe. These conclusions mark a first step towards making research careers across Europe more attractive and sustainable and allowing brain circulation to become a reality."

With these conclusions, the Council calls for mechanisms to support career development and counselling services for researchers in order to address the increasing trend towards precariousness of employment in academia, loss of talent and reduction of job security in many countries.

The European Skills Agenda adopted by the Commission on 30 June 2020 called to develop a European Competence Framework for researchers, supporting the development of a set of core skills for researchers, skills taxonomies, and related training, in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights. ECOPNET (European Cooperation and Partnership Network) notes that cross-border and cross-sectoral cooperation, openness, sharing, fair recruitment and competition contribute to the development of sustainable and attractive research careers.

Stressing the importance of attracting and retaining talent in Europe, the Council considers important to facilitate interoperability and comparability among research careers through the development of a European framework for research careers. It highlights the importance of fostering intersectoral mobility to provide further opportunities for employment and career development, especially for young researchers.

Moreover, the conclusions propose to reinforce the synergies with the European Higher Education Area, considering that European University Alliances are the most suitable platforms to test possible models for joint recruitment schemes, training and career development at transnational level.

The Council encourages all relevant public authorities and private institutions, academia and business sectors to provide the means to improve skills and lifelong training for researchers, in particular young scientists, and to boost recruitment and facilitate career progression while promoting measures to reduce the precariousness of research careers.

Source: Council of the EU Press Releases


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