Disrupted Mobilities, Disrupted Careers: a covid19 blog series by nccr-on the move

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In the authors' words:
"The blog series assembles contributions by young social scientists, some based in Switzerland, others abroad. The contributions cover a variety of topics ranging from the practical challenges related to conducting transnational fieldwork during COVID-19 to mental health and equal opportunity concerns raised by the pandemic. In the concluding post, we synthesize these findings and compare them to studies with a broader disciplinary scope conducted by the Career Tracker Cohorts Study, the journal nature and the academic publishing house De Gruyter. We also refer to results derived from a survey conducted among the 42 doctoral and PostDoc fellows funded by the nccr – on the move".

Disrupted Mobilities, Disrupted Careers: a covid19 blog series by nccr-on the move

We gladly receive this notification and encourage everyone to check this blog out here

In the authors’ words:

“The blog series assembles contributions by young social scientists, some based in Switzerland, others abroad. The contributions cover a variety of topics ranging from the practical challenges related to conducting transnational fieldwork during COVID-19 to mental health and equal opportunity concerns raised by the pandemic. In the concluding post, we synthesize these findings and compare them to studies with a broader disciplinary scope conducted by the Career Tracker Cohorts Study, the journal nature and the academic publishing house De Gruyter. We also refer to results derived from a survey conducted among the 42 doctoral and PostDoc fellows funded by the nccr – on the move”.

A firm, friendly and transparent pact for career development of researchers

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers was published in September 2019 as a follow-up to the first concordate published in 2008. This document is the result of collaborative work including diverse stakeholders with an interest in research and researchER development. Although UK-targeted, it is highly translatable to pretty much all European countries, so we think there may be lots to be inspired by!

In their own words:

This revised Concordat recognises the critical role of research and innovation in delivering the UK’s ambitious economic and industrial strategies, and aims to set the gold standard in researcher development and use it as a competitive advantage.

actionuni responded to the consultation on the Federal Act on International Cooperation and Mobility in the Field of Education (SR 414.51)

The new law is in effect a legal formalization of policies on cooperation and mobility which are already in place. This topic is clearly central to academic and professional training.

Our main feedback points were the following:

  • we recognize the need for the Confederation to be able to manage its programmes more autonomously
  • we support the establishment of a national agency with a specific executive mandate concerning the instruments of implementation of the policies presented by the law
  • we welcome the opening to non-European educational realities
  • we stress the need for the Confederation not to distance itself too much from the cooperation and mobility programmes linked to the European Union.

Read the full letter here (in Italian).

actionuni responded to the consultation on the new law for the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education (EHB)

The new law suggests that the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education is being recognized and accredited as a University of Teacher Education.

Our main feedback points were:

  • The new law shall include a paragraph on securing the autonomy of the institution.
  • Not only EHB will be active in vocational education, but shall do so in synergy with existing offers at existing Universities of Teacher Education.
  • A paragraph on proper participation rights for staff and students of EHB must be introduced.

Read the full Vernehmlassungsantwort (German).

Les doctorants de Suisse réclament de meilleures conditions de travail

Maximilien Stauber, secretary general of ACIDUL, University of Lausanne, got interviewed on the recently released position paper of actionuni.

Maximilien claims that “It’s hard to get into a job if you know that potentially, in a year, or even three years, it will be over. These are unstable and often shifting positions. It is necessary all the time to move, one pushes you to do it for criteria of excellence. It’s complicated to manage.

Read the full article at RTS (French only).

actionuni responded to the consultation on the new ETH legislation

actionuni has given feedback on the new ETH legislation. Our main points are:

  • criticism on the plan to increase the flexibility concerning contract duration for PostDocs and Assistant Professors. A minimum of four years in the first contract should be ensured.
  • salary equality within ETH needs to be ensured by the ETH-Rat, also in case of private third party funding.
  • professors may be employed beyond retirement age. However, we demand a new (young) professor must be employed nevertheless.
  • participation must be ensured and voting rights for delegates of the Hochschulversammlung sustained.
  • if a new HR information system is being introduced, data must not be used for any other purposes (e.g. research) without consent of the employees.
  • video surveillance data must not be used for other than its intended use.

Read the full Vernehmlassungsantwort (German).

Actionuni participated in a public consultation on how EU funds should be used

In consultation with Eurodoc, Actionuni participated in a public consultation on how EU funds should be used in the areas of investment, research &innovation, SMEs and the single market.

We highlighted in particular the importance of a full funding of EU research programs and asked the EU to:

  1. Increase budget of FP9
  2. Support Open Science for researchers
  3. Support career development of researchers
  4. Fund research into mental health of researchers

You’ll find our complete answers here (PDF)

Actionuni recommends voting against the upcoming no-billag initiative.

It is not very common for actionuni providing a voting recommendation on political topics which do not concern the scientific staff at first sight. But since the no-billag initiative does have direct and indirect influence on higher education institutes and the scientific staff, actionuni clearly recommends voting no in the upcoming no-billag initiative, as (inter alia) the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences and the fh-zh do.

Further arguments as well as a profound statement can be found here.

Feedback to the proposed changes of the HFKG and the accreditation process

actionuni has given feedback to the proposed financing scheme within the HFKG. For Universities of Applied Sciences, the model 85/15 is preferred unanimously, implying a moderate shift towards giving research a higher importance. Among the members of the universities, no clear consent was reached which financing model should be used.

A second feedback was requested regarding the topic of a simplified second accreditation process for universities, which have passed a first accreditation without obligations. actionuni supports the position of the Swiss Accreditation Council to postpone the decision whether and how a simplified accreditation process should be implemented until 2019 once more experience about the new accreditation system has been gathered.

Antwort Vernehmlassung Finanzierung HFKG

Antwort Vernehmlassung Vereinfachte Akkreditierung