by Frederico G. Carvalho, Vice-President, World Federation of Scientific Workers

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Research workers in the early stage of their professional life shall be valued as an indispensable cornerstone of the construction of a brighter future for the peoples of Europe. A number of reasons that justify this assertion are discussed below. Much will depend on the conditions under which the young or early stage researchers are engaged and are able to work. Whether adequate stimuli are provided and whether there is encouragement or impediment to exercise their creativity.

The WFSW views researchers whether graduate or post-graduate, as workers in their own right, subject to the rights and obligations as defined in the general labour law. This question of paramount social importance is discussed. Attention is given to the recommendations contained in the European Charter and Code of Conduct for the recruitment of researchers and to the actual compliance with its set of good practices. A scrutiny is carried out of Programme “Horizon 2020” texts relevant to the subject under consideration.

Reference is made to the social and personal costs caused by tabling wrong incentives in Science that involve hiring significant numbers of temporary scientists without real career prospects.

A few remarks will be made concerning current funding mechanisms, career structure and the concepts of “excellence” and “competitiveness”.

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