Young Researchers Forum

10.11, Wed, 09:30-13:00 (CET, UTC +1)

An open Forum for the exchange among younger researchers about individual career trajectories on both sides of the Atlantic and the crucial and possible contributions that Mecila and other Merian Centres can make in future formats and co-operations.

The forum will discuss the following three dilemmas and challenges:

Most investments in science are made by state funding agencies. At the same time, differences in research budgets at national level impose various obstacles to transregional cooperation and necessary comparative approaches in the social sciences and humanities. On a structural level, the massive inequalities complicate transnational scientific careers. What are the main qualitative and financial differences of (national and regional) funding scenarios we are dealing with and which possibilities and obstacles result from them? By openly discussing the intellectual and practical challenges that result from this mismatch of national structures and transnational research and life projects, we seek to identify different research and organizational strategies to overcome these obstacles and develop strategic repertoires to enable future career paths.

One of the most significant research challenges today is to deal with the increasing demand for transdisciplinary approaches that conflict with the continuous rigidity of  disciplinary structures at the institutional level that define our career opportunities. Can we reframe this conflict, satisfy both expectations to succeed with our projects and, if so, how? What are the possible and available individual and institution instruments to value the emerging transdisciplinary models of scientific production, achieve their integration in institutional structures, and still guarantee secure and healthy working conditions in academia?

In recent years, quantitative criteria of academic production have gained importance as the dominant parameters for the classification not only of masters and doctoral programs but also of researchers themselves. These neoliberal and increasingly global evaluation systems establish an academic productivism that prioritizes abstract, unrooted metrics of excellence over the social and regional relevance of academic research. This scenario has resulted in a situation known to all of us: the pressure for greater productivity in a context of competition and less time for the maturation of results under which the quality and sometimes the originality of the published work suffers. How can we possibly, out of situations of structural precarity, develop strategies to face this situation? Are there alternatives that can reverse this scenario?



Tilmann Heil

Tilmann Heil

Clara Ruvituso

Clara Ruvituso

mariana teixeira by Wanezza Soares-159

Mariana Teixeira

FU Berlin

Aline Correa