News, Announcements & Press Releases

6. February 2012 10:14

Career Tracking - a Tool for Building Quality in Research

Luxembourg is the host on 9 and 10 February 2012 of an international workshop on tracking of researchers’ career, organised jointly by the Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR) and the European Science Foundation (ESF) at the Chamber of Commerce.

The workshop brings together 80 speakers and participants from as many as 20 countries from Europe, the US, Asia, and Africa, among them representatives of the OECD and the European Commission, all of them experts or professionals dealing with researchers’ careers.

Improving the working conditions of researchers and giving them the best possible support for their research training is a topic that is high on the agenda of the Luxembourg Government. Research Minister François Biltgen is opening the Workshop to highlight the country’s engagement in the principles already laid down in 2009 in the so-called “Gago-Biltgen” initiative “A European partnership to improve the attractiveness of RTD careers and the conditions for mobility of researchers in Europe”.

Career tracking is a powerful tool to monitor and understand researchers’ career pathways and patterns. By monitoring careers over time, tracking studies serve to provide better insight into the actual contribution of researchers to economy and society. Especially in times of economic uncertainty, relying on the highly skilled researchers’ work force to drive innovation and build the future economic, social and cultural prosperity of our societies is indispensable. 

There is no doubt that career studies are very important tools to guide policies in support of researchers’ career development. However, today there are few career tracking studies in place. The reason is that they require a long-term commitment and are thus expensive.

This international workshop in Luxembourg offers a platform for existing studies to highlight their results, to give practical and methodological guidance to institutions or funding bodies of research to develop an own tracking study and to promote career tracking as a tool to improve funding and policies in support of researchers.