‘Stem cell research is being blocked by biased reviewers’; ‘Peer review keeps scientists firmly grounded’; ‘Impact factors corrupting peer review’. These are just some of the recent discussions among researchers, the media and the public about challenges to peer reviewed publishing. Peer review results in 1.3 million learned articles being published each year and is fundamental to the integration of new research findings in hundreds of fields of inquiry.
Many early career researchers want to find out about the peer review process, how to get involved in reviewing, and what to make of public discussions about fraud and misleading research claims in science and medicine. The typical questions raised by early career researchers will be addressed in a short guide that will be distributed to participants and discussed at the session.
This interactive session will be a chance for early career researchers to directly question academics and editors closely involved in the peer review process. It will explore how peer review works, approach some of the criticisms of the process, and discuss whether peer review has wider implications in society beyond the research world.
Dr. Funeriu will deliver a 30 minute keynote address entitled "From Science Lab to Science Minister - a Perspective".
Following the keynote address, Professor Enric Banda will present the European Young Researchers' Award to the winners for 2011 and 2012, who will then give a 5 minute summary of their research.
Session Chair: Conor O'Carroll, Research Director, Irish Universities Association
We regret that this session has been cancelled and will no longer be taking place.
The gender balance in research in science, technology, engineering and maths is a concern across Europe. The numbers of women are low, and few hold senior positions.
Join us for this lively discussion and speaker session, which aims to generate a vision of the research environment that will enable women to participate and progress equally alongside their male colleagues. The benefits of this diverse and thriving research workforce will be set out.
The empowerment of decision makers, organisational structures, career progression, development and support, and work-life balance will all be up for debate.
Four expert speakers will share their visions of a gender-balanced future in STEM research and identify strategies to transform. The speakers will also outline the INTEGER Project, an EC FP7-funded initiative focussing on women researchers in STEM.
The session will be chaired by Ronan O’Beirne, Director for Learning Development and Research at Bradford College (UK). There will be an emphasis on audience participation through hand held voting, open discussion and feedback.
Ever wondered what a biochemist and a mathematician might have in common, or how a social scientist and a particle physicist could work together? European Crucible at ESOF is designed to help you find out just what great minds and creative thinkers can do when they come together!
European Crucible builds on the success of the UK’s award-winning Crucible programme and its pool of multi-national, multi-disciplinary researchers from science, technology, engineering, medicine, arts, design, and social and political science. European Crucible invites other talented early stage researchers from across Europe – Europe’s ‘research leaders of the future’ - to come and participate in this session and satellite event to expand their innovative potential, form a collaborative peer network, and address the challenges of proposing new ideas for interdisciplinary research with impact!
Innovative, collaborative, inter-disciplinary research is becoming increasingly important to match European research priorities and meet global ‘grand challenges’. European Crucible aims to help early stage researchers develop skills, knowledge and connections to enhance their research capacity and impact through interdisciplinary collaborations and knowledge exchange. For ambitious early stage researchers committed to a research career in Europe, European Crucible will i) harness skills and aptitudes for interdisciplinary research and innovation; ii) inspire and empower a network of potential European research leaders and iii) explore and enable collaborative linkages between academia, business, policy and the media.
European Crucible @ ESOF : Satellite Event
European Crucible - A catalyst for inter-disciplinary innovation and collaboration
Wednesday, 11th July 2012 – Convention Centre Dublin 10am-12.00 noon - the Ecocem Room.
Registration: By registering for our satellite event and conference session (European Crucible), delegates are eligible for a reduced registration rate of €100 incl 23% VAT registration rate.
The first field asks for an Offer Code to validate the registration – please enter the code: ESOFCRUCIBLE
Although most funding agencies and research institutions now recognise the value of engaging the public about scientific research, performing outreach is often regarded as an add-on to a scientist's day job, rather than an integral part of it. Worse, scientists who communicate their work to the media or the public often encounter the view that these activities somehow make them second-class researchers, or that they are wasting valuable research time.
This workshop will explore the idea that engaging wider audiences should be part and parcel of doing science, and that scientists who do communicate improve not only their career prospects, but also enrich their research and boost their ability to collaborate, innovate and increase the impact of their work.
The workshop will include short talks illustrating how outreach can synergise with research, including a first-hand account from an academic who builds public engagement into his field work. There will also be a series of interactive exercises to help delegates identify outreach opportunities for their own research and to start developing the skills needed to realise them.
Research, especially in Europe, never offered so many opportunities as nowadays. However, the competition for rewarding careers has never been so fierce. The economic austerity is also affecting research funding and career opportunities in some countries. As a consequence, whereas it may be exciting to engage in a research career it carries risk like research itself.
In this session panellists will share their perception on the challenges for a scientist engaging in a research career nowadays. They will also provide clues on what they believe are the ingredients to a successful career (legal environment, education, international mobility, good networking opportunities, interdisciplinary, collaboration with businesses, pathways from academia to business, and passion for science…).
Through their experiences, the former Marie Curie fellows will explain how the mobility fellowship helped develop their career. Each of the panellists' profiles illustrates how mobility and training can contribute to a successful career.
As the number of PhD graduates worldwide continues to increase the percentage of graduates who can remain within the academic system has greatly reduced. As such, there is an increasing pool of highly qualified postdoctoral researchers looking towards alternative careers. It is envisaged that many of these positions will be in industry. However, the number of PhD graduates currently moving to industry appears to be very small. In order to increase this number and to facilitate easier transition from academia to industry there is a need for increased interaction and discussion between academic institutions and industry. This will inform potential employers of the transferrable skills acquired during a doctoral degree and also inform academic institutions as to how to build career development appropriate to the needs of industry into PhD programmes towards the needs of industry. There is also considerable scope for increased PhD programmes run jointly between academia and industry.
This session will commence with contrasting perspectives from a number of stakeholders (academia, industry, policy and a PhD graduate) on their views of the problems as well as the potential opportunities in moving from academia to industry. The first part of the session will serve to frame the issue and will be followed by an interactive panel discussion of the issues highlighted with questions from attendees. Interactive discussion will help to highlight the potential value of PhD trained researchers to the industry sector while providing academic institutions and researchers with a more clearly defined focus on the additional skills or training that would make PhD graduates more suitable for industry. The list of proposed panellists will allow for discussion of the issues not only at a national level but also in Europe and the US.
The number of science PhDs produced globally each year is growing fast. Yet the PhD’s oft-intended aim – to prepare students for a life in academia – is an outdated one. In some countries, people who have trained at great effort, length and expense to be researchers confront a dwindling number of academic jobs. Is the PhD in dire need of reform?
This session will discuss current challenges to the PhD system and explore how it is changing at some institutions, and should be changed more broadly in the European Union and beyond. Panellists in doctoral education will present their visions for the science PhD of the future – and offer advice to research leaders, policy makers and students on how to best equip students for the 21st-century science workplace, based on their views, research and specific programmes that might serve as models.
It is a fact well-known to HR professionals and educators worldwide: young people who wish to build a long-lasting career in life sciences always end-up facing a dilemma. Will they build a career in the academic world, or will they go into industry (big pharma or biotech alike)?
What if this dilemma didn't exist and a flexible career-structure was possible in which researchers could move back and forth between academia and industry?
Can we capitalize on the best of both worlds, faciliate cross-fertilization and make life-long learning a reality? Is this a model in which we should invest?
We have asked five young researchers to discuss this in a lunchtime session starting from their own personal perspective – in interaction with the delegates with the aim of sparking some original thinking.
It is more recognised and accepted nowadays that mobility is a key-factor in achieving a successful scientific career. The benefits gained from the mobility experience range from acquiring news skills, being exposed to new cultures, opening of new horizons, exchanging of information, getting access to better research facilities etc..
For almost 20 years the Marie Curie Fellowships have been one of the main instruments to promote a culture of ‘mobility’ in the European Union and beyond. However the numbers of women who leave their country to go and spend a period ‘abroad’ is still limited and even less is still the number of women who reach the top level in their career.
It can be difficult to fulfil the needs of a couple, what is called dual-career or even more settling down to have a family. Quite often the ‘mobility’ is seen as an obstacle rather than a mean to achieve both. In addition ‘mobility’ can be daunting as there is no guarantee to find a place in the previous Host Institution or country once the ‘mobility’ period is over.
The Women in Science Working Group of the Marie Curie Fellows Association (MCFA) will present the experiences of women who have been ‘mobile’ and also been successful in their career without losing the focus of having a life-work balance.
Europe's universities play a key role in the economic recovery, implementing the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
Developed economies rely on new knowledge and highly skilled knowledge workers to feed a process of continuous innovation. Over the last five to seven years many Member States have modernised their system of doctoral training with a Europe-wide trend to move from the traditional model of a "master-apprentice relationship" towards doctoral training delivered in structured programmes for cohorts of candidates.
Our economy needs better matching of supply (training of researchers) and demand (recruitment of researchers) and the Innovation Union acknowledges this in its commitments.
In line with the Europe 2020 objectives, doctoral training is key to creating more and better jobs as it provides young high potentials with the right qualification to move into a wide range of employment sectors. More structured forms of doctoral training, following common Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training in Europe are vital for realising these commitments.
The Principles refer to:
1) Research excellence,
2) Attractive institutional environment (in line with the Charter & Code),
3) Interdisciplinary research options,
4) Exposure to industry and other relevant employment sectors
5) International networking,
6) Transferable skills training,
7) Quality assurance.
The Commission launched a pilot scheme for 2012-2014 in order to test a small series of Innovative Doctoral Programmes, including European Industrial Doctorates. This pilot could be a precursor for funding under Horizon 2020 and could set an example for other funding instruments at national and EU levels. July-December 2012 a team of experts will visit 36 doctoral programmes and interview 36 more to check the feasibility of the Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training. The checking starts in Dublin!
As work becomes increasingly more global and the pace of change drives greater levels of innovation, the need for employers to find people with the right technical skills, who can adapt to the competitive landscape and work on an international level across cultures and time zones becomes critical to the success of the individual businesses. Representatives from some of Ireland’s leading technology companies will describe what they are looking for when it comes to hiring college graduates in today’s business climate. These representatives will come from large multinational companies and small to medium size enterprises, as well as from representatives who have worked both in academia and industry.
The session will begin with 4*10 minute presentations ( verbal only) from each of the panellists outlining their companies/organisations and describing what they would be looking for in a candidate. The final 40 minutes of a ‘fish bowl’ session will be used to do 3 mock-up interviews, on stage, with some brave candidates selected ahead of time and the speakers acting as an interview panel. Each of the students will be asked a question from 3 of the panellists, with the 4th panellist providing input on how the interview went. The interviewee will get some brief feedback from the panel post the interview.
Research ethics is an important part of professional life of every researcher and it influences society in multiple ways. However, perception of ethics, its principles and its importance may significantly vary between individuals, disciplines, and countries. Different perceptions and lack of awareness have led to controversial debates about the benefits of science, innovation and new technologies, as well as the societal responsibility of researchers. Younger researchers may be particularly affected, as they rarely have the opportunity to discuss relevant issues. In an era of digital science, where information communication technologies (ICT) are both the subject of and a tool for research, communication and collaboration, ethical issues are gaining increasingly in importance.
The aim of this interactive round table is to raise awareness and discuss the importance of ethical principles in research and science from different perspectives. Aside from discipline-oriented considerations (such as ICT, life and bio science), the focus will also be on factors influencing researchers' careers, including different ways of providing training on the responsible conduct of research and research ethics. This roundtable aims to trigger an exchange of views from prominent contributors and the audience on this most fundamental, yet too often overlooked, area of research practice.
This session will leverage the collective experience of the Wild Geese Network of Irish Scientists (WGN) and the European EURAXESS network to explore how engaging diaspora contributes to the enrichment of scientific careers. The session begins with a 5-minute, audio-visual presentation of “Postcards from Abroad”, featuring WGN members presenting short vignettes of their research careers. The session continues with four, 10-minute presentations from internationally renowned members who will discuss Diaspora in Science and examine broad perspectives of their experiences as global researchers. Approaches to maintaining collaborations at home, while simultaneously forging successful partnerships abroad, will be described. Two researchers will then join the panel to discuss, with audience interaction, the value of leveraging the global scientific diaspora in maintaining international collaborations and advancing research mobility and give examples of the benefits of trilateral research programs in enabling European scientists to study abroad. The session serves as a preamble to the WGN ‘Breakfast with Champions’, where ESOF participants will engage directly with representatives from industry and academia, as well as science communicators and policy makers. The benefits of professional networking, both virtual and in-person, will be shown during these two events. The WGN serves as an instructive template for the development and maintenance of connections, both at home and abroad, demonstrating that today’s internationally mobile researchers are indeed aboard the ‘brain train’, rather than contributors to a ‘brain drain’.
ERC grantees represent the seed for future European leading research activities in all fields of scientific knowledge. Due to the diversity of European research funding they conduct their work in a great variety of situations. The speakers will highlight in the first place the exciting science they are carrying out. They will share their motivation and respond to the ‘what for’ question, illustrating that mixture of curiosity and drive arising from issues challenging society. They will make the case for Europe as a fertile breeding ground for the highest quality research and attracting the best minds from all over the world if only the right conditions are put in place. Then this will strongly help to establish a European (ERC) spirit among those engaged in the scientific community. The launching of the Young Academy of Europe exemplifies this.
Give a voice to researchers on European research careers
The Innovation Union flagship initiative of October 2010 underlined the importance of human resources and called for a European Research Area (ERA) to be established by 2014 and to be at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy. This was endorsed by the European Council in February 2011.
The Commission has already taken a series of initiatives to strengthen the research profession in Europe in close cooperation with the Member States.
The session aims at both giving an overview of European initiatives for researcher careers (e.g. open labour market for researchers, gender balance, excellence in research….).and mobility, and setting up an on-going dialogue with European researchers, including those not present at the workshop. The objective is to empower researchers by providing them with constant opportunities to voice their ideas, insight and expectations regarding research careers and their mobility experience in Europe. In turn, this will enable the Commission to better take into account their concerns and feed them back into EU strategies and initiatives, which will also bring more transparency and openness to the overall policy-making process.
At the beginning of the session, the audience will be updated on existing initiatives of the European Commission (e.g. EURAXESS) and the "ideal" career path of a researcher. Keynote will be given by Ellen Pearce.
During the session, the European Commission, researchers and the audience will discuss topics related to career development and mobility of researchers. To further feed discussions, during the session participants will be invited to post additional ideas on a specific on-line forum conceived to voice their ideas and opinions. A summary of the main input will be published at the EURAXESS portal.
The main goal of this session is to initiate discussions among different generations of researchers on the challenges of transforming economies and societies in Southeast-European countries.
In this context, two challenging domains will be particularly discussed:
The expected results are to:
The session will include short reports (5 min.) of pre-ESOF meetings in different countries followed by a discussion.
Across Europe, researchers are increasingly being asked to take their research out of the lab and bring it into the "real" world. Sometimes that means commercialising an innovative technology, communicating their research or inserting it into government policy, but it is never easy. People who are very skilled at operating within an academic environment suddenly find themselves forced to come to terms with different skill-sets required to operate in a non-academic environment, such as networking or business plan writing.
The organisers will give two very brief introductions, highlighting issues which we have come across in their work with researchers exploring employment opportunities in non-academic contexts. Barbara will discuss the questions from her perspective of someone advising and training academic entrepreneurs, while Dom, whose expertise lies in the science communication/education sector, will look at things from the point of view of an employer.
The introductory remarks will lead into a moderated group discussion which will take up the bulk of the session. Participants will share their experiences of situations where they or colleagues have entered into the commercial world successfully and unsuccessfully.
The organisers together with the participants will develop some "rules" for researchers who are looking for employment in non-academic fields, be it business, science communication or the public sector. And at the end of the session, these will be brought together to create a whole group "wiki" set of guidelines.
The future of European science is in the hands of the next generation of researchers. However, policy makers are not paying enough attention to supporting the next generation and the voice of young scientists is not always taken into account. In this session the microphone will be given to the next generation of researchers and issues of importance for young researchers will be discussed. The issues have been selected based on the results of a European large scale survey and by the speakers’ experiences.
To set the scene, the results of a survey that Euroscience is currently carrying out among more than 30,000 young researchers in Europe will be presented. The findings will be commented on by Ruth Muller whom has taken the career of young scientists as a topic of her research. Further, Dorthe Bomholdt Ravnsbæk, the winner of the European Young Researchers Award 2010, will share her experience doing research in an interdisciplinary environment. Finally, Natalia Borkowska will talk about how the Young European Biotech Network communicates the interests of young researchers to policy makers.
The session will conclude with a discussion about the working conditions of young researchers, more specifically about mobility seen from three different perspectives: geographic (moving between countries); sectoral (moving between academia and industry); field (moving between scientific fields). Finally, the main barriers to successfully pursuing an academic research career will be discussed and the audience will be encouraged to suggest practical remedies.