August 30, 2023

Research Careers Overview in the European Context: from Uncertainty to Sustainability – where do we stand now?

Project SECURE (Sustainable Careers for Researcher Empowerment) has recently released two reviews about the current state of affairs in the research environment in the EU. These documents closely examine the current practices across the EU and offer a general overview of the conditions researchers are facing today in their career paths.

The first two deliverables are a joint effort of the consortium of 18 partner organisations actively involved in these topics.


State of the Art on Research Career Frameworks (RCF) shows that despite many potentially useful concepts, a successful implementation of RCF across Europe is lacking. There is a need to implement new guidance for research career development to address the current challenges. Some of the recommendations include introducing transparent career progression pathways, promotion of diversity and gender equality, the promotion of professional development opportunities and training, and creation of a supportive research culture. Learn more about this here.


State of the Art on Tenure Track-Like Models (TTL) highlights a huge variance internationally around the understanding of tenure track-like models and what is feasible, desirable, and culturally acceptable at institutional and national levels. There is a need to find a clear joint definition of tenure tracks and a set of principles and practices for establishing a good tenure track model. Since there are many differences in education systems and regulations across Europe, a more flexible approach is needed. The assessment criteria stands as a key aspect of tenure track-like models. Learn more about this here.

Above mentioned works will further evolve in subsequent work packages of the project. These reviews will serve as guidelines for further methodological development. In the near future, SECURE will bring forth its interventions in career paths on national levels. SECURE will conduct trials at academic institutions in four EU countries to test certain aspects of RCF and TTL.


About SECURE Project:

SECURE is a two-year, European-wide initiative developing new approaches to empower and support researchers and scientists on their career paths. This project, supported by the European Research Executive Agency (REA), is looking into ways to effectively overcome uncertainty and precarity, and to introduce models that will improve chances for career advancement in a long-term and sustainable way.


About YERUN’s involvement in the realisation of the first two deliverables:

YERUN developed chapter 6 of the State of the Art on Tenure Track-Like Models (TTL). This chapter included a systematic review of primary and secondary sources of tenure track-like models at career development and assessment levels. It looked into the parameters according to which an Early Career Researcher (ECR) hired in a TTL model secures a permanent position in academia, looking both at the criteria and processes used to confirm (or not) ECRs into permanent positions and at the career development initiatives put forward to support them. The main findings relate to the importance of mentoring schemes, the relevance of the surrounding context (legislative, cultural, institutional, disciplinary…), the differences across fields, how potential should be also assessed, the impact of mobility, the difficulties of team science or family care.

For more information, follow SECURE pages:
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