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What are the global challenges for researchers?

Gather any group of researchers together from anywhere in the world and before long their discussion will turn to systemic issues affecting careers in research. This is not a new observation, though the scale of the problem has certainly intensified in recent years.

While details vary from institution to institution, from country to country, the following themes are all too familiar.

  • Employment insecurity - who pays and how?
  • Funding - what gets funded and why?
  • Exploitation - who contributes and in exchange for what?
  • Career progression - what comes next?
  • Recognition - what is my position and how is it valued?
  • Mobility - how do I get there and at what cost?
  • Gender and family - what are the inequalities and what are the trade-offs?

The core function of ICoRSA is globally informed advocacy and researcher empowerment!

 We want to improve the way research careers are conceptualised, structured and funded across the globe and we want to ensure researchers themselves are the main drivers of this change. To this end we;

  • Network researchers from across the globe.
  • Gather evidence on the structure of research careers globally.
  • Produce expert analyses.
  • Engage in globally informed advocacy.
  • Serve as research career ambassadors.
  • Empower research associations and researchers.

Why should you become an ICoRSA member?

By joining ICoRSA (free registration) , you are part of a growing number of independent researchers, academics, research staff/postdoc associations, universities, funders and businesses determined to improve research careers.

As a transnational membership driven organization, we are uniquely positioned to draw on and define best practices from across the globe and to use these insights to leverage change at a national and international level.

Our achievements to date and benefits of supporting ICoRSA:

ICoRSA has achieved remarkable successes with limited resources. Below are some of our projects:

Joint collaborations:
  • Horizon 2020 ISSI5: A joint project in producing white papers on researchers career conditions/issues. The consortium partners are:
    • ICoRSA
    • UNESCO
    • Elsevier
    • Vitae
    • Marie Curie Fellow Association
    • WAYS
    • Eurodoc
Committees and Councils for which ICoRSA are invited to participate (Advocacy):
  • ‘Voice of researchers’ committee in Brussels.
  • Science Europe.
  • European Network of Research Careers.
  • EuroScience.
  • European Science Foundation
Conferences that ICoRSA have presented at:
  • World Science forum organised by UNESCO (November 2013).
  • European Science Open Forum (ESOF) organised by EuroScience (June 2014).
ICoRSA's Ambassadorial and Mentoring accomplishments:
  • Presented at the South African Postdoctoral Forum (2011, 2013).
  • Met with South African Funders and Policy makers to discuss research careers and consider new funding mechanisms (2011, 2013).
  • Initiated and Mentored the South African Research Staff Association (SARSA) (2011 - 2014).
  • Planned Visit to Brazil to set up Brazilian RSA.
  • South America: Joint project with WAYS Latin America, UNESCO and possibly Elsevier.
  •  Africa: Raise profile of research and researchers in Africa. Joint project proposed with UNESCO.
ICoRSA's other Networking Events attended:
  • South African Postdoctoral Forum (2011, 2013).
  • National Postdoc Association Meeting in the USA (2012).
  • Vitae Conference and ICoRSA AGM (Birmingham, 2013).