Salome Adam, co-president of actionuni, was invited to comment in the Zürioberländer News on the recent cases of mobbing and plagiarism at EMPA, the independent materials, science and technology research institute of the ETH domain.
Salome states that the complex dependencies of young researchers from their professors aid to cases of exploitation. At EMPA, two professors are being accused of mobbing, inexplicable cases of dismissal of employees, and copying of material from Phd-theses for publication under their own name without citing of the original author(s).
Read the full article here (German only).
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 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).
Salome Adam, co-president of actionuni, participated in a discussion with Prof. Aguzzi from University of Zurich on the misuse of power and mobbing at universities. Some real cases are reported but also ways are discussed of how pressure in research can be mitigated without compromising scientific quality.
Link to SRF (only German)
Today, actionuni der Schweizer Mittelbau publishes its position paper (pdf German / pdf French / pdf English) on the promotion of young researchers at Swiss higher education institutions. The position paper was drawn up jointly with all members and unanimously adopted at the last delegates’ meeting.
Florian Lippke, former Co-President of actionuni and member of the Swiss Accreditation Council, commented: “We are aware that every university faces different challenges and that some are already considering approaches to improve the conditions for young scientists in their institutions. However, we know that there are fundamental problems in the Swiss higher education area for non-professorial academic staff, which we must tackle together.”
Our positions in a nutshell:
- Career diversification at all types of universities and alternative careers are needed to give young researchers multiple perspectives for their future.
- Professional human resources management will support the separation of administrative from scientific responsibilities.
- Double profile research/practice is seen to be of value for all types of universities, not only Universities of Applied Sciences.
- Transparency and career advice are needed to guide young researchers early on through the jungle of academic and non-academic careers.
- Strengthening of flat hierarchies and inclusive work models will enable us to share scientific responsibilities among all members of the team, from graduate students to professors and chair-holders.
- Minimal research time and fair employment conditions reflect that research is work and must be paid.
- Compatibility of scientific careers with family and other obligations should be self-evident as universities are role models for other employers and society as a whole.
- Participation rights are guaranteed by law and must be supported adequately
– Florian Lippke, Tel: +41 76 720 17 70, Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (D, FR, E)
– Salome Adam, Tel: +41 79 249 54 33, Mail: email@example.com (D, E)
Full Press Release in English, German and French (pdf).
Continue reading actionuni der Schweizer Mittelbau strives for clear improvements for the non-professorial academic staff at Swiss higher education institutions!
The associations of non-professorial academic staff of the University of Zurich (VAUZ) and the ETH Zurich (AVETH) have published three reports on the situation of their doctoral and postdoctoral students based on surveys at both universities.
Please find the press releases and links to the reports here: VAUZ / AVETH
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:
- Increase budget of FP9
- Support Open Science for researchers
- Support career development of researchers
- Fund research into mental health of researchers
You’ll find our complete answers here (PDF)
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.
On 5 April 2017, the NZZ has published an extensive dossier on the situation of the non-professorial academic staff in Switzerland. Co-president Florian Lippke took part in a dispute with swissuniversities president Michael Hengartner; co-president Andrea Tamas via telephone interview gave additional positions on the situation of the non-professorial academic staff at Universities of Applied Sciences and Universities of Teacher Education. The full dossier can be found here.
Young researchers at the University of St. Gallen will give themselves a new organizational structure. A telephone interview by the responsible journalist from the St. Galler Tagblatt with Florian Lippke gave us the chance to welcome these new developments and to stress the importance of well-defined conditions for the researchers who are actively involved.
The article can be found here.