On 1 July 2022, from 10:30 to 12:30 (CEST), the Young European Research Universities Network is organising an online event for the launch of its paper “Rethinking Academic Careers: cultural change as a key bottleneck to be addressed”.
This YERUN paper aims to contribute to the current work at EU level on the reform of research assessment. Since March 2021, YERUN has been working very closely with the European Commission (EC) in shaping this EU initiative by providing input to different stakeholder consultations as well as through the publication of its position paper on research assessment in November 2021. More recently, YERUN was invited to be part of the EC’s core group supporting the drafting of a European Agreement that aims at bringing together individual research funding organisations, research performing organisations and national/regional assessment authorities that will to engage in a coalition which would aim at reforming the current research assessment system.
For YERUN, research only cannot be a stand-alone element guaranteeing academic progression. Any form of assessment must be embedded within a broader career cycle composed of recruitment, development, and promotion, and should acknowledge all areas in which academics perform their work (research, teaching, leadership and service to society). It is therefore crucial that any proposed reform allows for a broader perspective of “academic assessment” to be considered.
But of course, embarking in such a reform is certainly not an easy task. The university landscape, research disciplines, as well as the academic careers themselves are diverse and a common set of evaluation criteria is neither feasible, nor desirable. The current way in which academic careers are assessed should be rethought in its process, methods, frequency, etc. so as to develop a system that is sustainable, fair, adapted to different disciplines, career contexts, institutional missions, and contexts. Moreover, agreeing on rethinking academic careers assessment practices on the basis of some principles to be followed is not enough. Real change only happens when it becomes common practice within academic communities. Responsibility for implementing new ways of assessing careers therefore must be rooted primarily at individual level and further up reaching academic institutions, research organisations, research funding organisations, etc.
A cultural change will be necessary, but how can we prepare for it? How to embed new principles and assessment criteria in our research cultures, what are the actions that the different actors will need to take?
These are the questions that the YERUN paper aims to answer and that will be addressed at the event. Representatives from the European Commission will present the state of play of the EU initiative and participants will discuss how we could move forward in this reform!
For more information on the event, check the programme here!
To REGISTER click here!