Go back

Improve academics’ conditions, say research groups

Improvements in working conditions for academics and less fragmentation of research programmes are among the recommendations of a group of 15 French research organisations.

The recommendations were made in submissions to the Assises de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche, a review board set up by the Socialist government to improve university and research operations.

The Assises published the proposals online on 17 September. Recommendations from another group of organisations are expected to be made available soon.

The Association for the Quality of French Science (QSF) emphasised that academics need better facilities and more time for research. It also suggested strategies to improve recruitment, including higher starting salaries and selection based solely on the quality of candidates’ scientific output.

The Confederation of Young Researchers (CJC) focused on the situation of doctoral students, condemning the practice of letting doctoral students work without pay. It said that the conditions for young researchers from abroad need clarification and that career prospects for doctoral students need to be improved.

The QSF, CJC, the CNRS, the French national centre for scientific research, and Aviesan, the national alliance for life and health, all called for reducing the fragmentation of the research landscape. The QSF said that the plethora of institutions, networks and acronyms creates confusion, and Aviesan said it would like to see more collaboration between universities and other research organisations.

The review board held hearings with organisations involved in research and higher education at the national level in August and September.