Empowering Research Careers with Research Comp: A New Era in European Research
In today’s era, we are witnessing a paradigm shift in research and innovation. The European Research Area (ERA) is at the forefront of this transformation, focusing on strengthening research careers to make them more attractive, competitive, and resilient. At the heart of this endeavor is Research Comp, the first EU competence framework for researchers, developed in close cooperation with stakeholders. In this article, we delve into the significance of Research Comp and how it benefits researchers, universities, and the business sector.
Research Comp: A Tool for Empowering Researchers
Researchers play a pivotal role not only in academia but also in various sectors of society, including business, industry, nonprofit organizations, and the public sector. To foster mobility between these sectors, researchers need transversal skills, and that’s where Research Comp comes into play. It identifies the transversal skills needed and supports their development.
Research Comp comprises descriptors and learning outcomes for 38 skills across seven thematic categories and four proficiency levels, enabling researchers to assess and improve their skillset. Gareth O’Neal, a researcher and principal consultant on open science, highlights the importance of Research Comp. He explains that it helps early career researchers recognize the skills needed for research careers, whether in academia or beyond.
Advantages for Universities
Emmanuel Gardan, representing the Coimbra Group—an association of universities, emphasizes that Research Comp offers numerous advantages. Universities hope to improve job security and career progression for researchers, particularly those on project-based employment. The tool can also help universities navigate diverse National competence frameworks for researchers, making it valuable for researchers’ intra-European mobility. Moreover, Research Comp promotes equality, diversity, and inclusion, contributing to transparent recruitment processes within universities.
Supporting Companies and Industry
Maya Pakalo, Vice President for C and Circular Economy at Meta Group, Finland, sheds light on how Research Comp benefits the business sector. Companies can use Research Comp to identify the valuable skills researchers bring from their academic experience. It helps in recognizing competencies like networking, science-based problem-solving, critical thinking, and diversity promotion. These skills are crucial for companies like Meta Group, which prioritize sustainable development and the green transition.
Facilitating the Use of Research Comp
To maximize the potential of Research Comp, it’s essential to provide support and resources for users. The following recommendations aim to facilitate the use of Research Comp:
- User-Friendly Materials: Develop user-friendly materials, such as infographics and fact sheets, to make Research Comp easily accessible and understandable.
- Best Practices Sharing: Create a platform or community where users can share best practices, case examples, and FAQs to enhance their understanding and usage of Research Comp.
- Training Opportunities: Offer training opportunities at both the National and European levels to help researchers, universities, and companies harness the full potential of Research Comp.
- Language Accessibility: Translate Research Comp into all official languages of the European Union to ensure accessibility for all stakeholders.
Research Comp represents a significant leap towards strengthening research careers in Europe and fostering mobility between various sectors. Researchers, universities, and companies can all benefit from this valuable tool. By providing support, materials, and training, we can ensure that Research Comp fulfills its potential and contributes to a more vibrant, competitive, and resilient European research landscape. This is an exciting new era for research in Europe, where Research Comp plays a pivotal role in empowering researchers and advancing innovation.
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