Career Tracking Pilot

Report published

The pilot project explored the career paths of post-doctorates and doctorate alumni from five research funding and research performing organisations: AXA Research Fund (AXA RF), France, Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR), Luxembourg, Goethe Graduate Academy at the Goethe University Frankfurt (GRADE), Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Switzerland and TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, a co-sponsored programme of UNICEF, UNDP, the World Bank and WHO.

Main findings included different research outputs and satisfaction levels between respondents with employment continuity and those with temporary contracts. Amongst other issues, the report discusses the growing numbers of doctorate holders in a context of academic employment bottlenecks and geographic and sectoral mobility patterns. It culminates in a set of recommendations aimed at doctoral funding and employing institutions as well as European policy-makers.

See the press release for more details

An article has been published in the Times Higher Education: Too many PhDs, not enough tenured positions (28/05/2015). The report is also addressed in THE podcast: 28 May - 3 June 2015 issue review.

The ESF has championed in the area of career tracking over the years and has facilitated experts coming together and publishing their recommendations. The pilot project resulted from a report 'Developing Research Careers In and Beyond Europe' produced through the collaborative effort of 23 research organisations. It draws on the findings from an international workshop co-hosted by the ESF and the National Research Fund (FNR) of Luxembourg in February 2012 which, for the first time, brought career tracking of researchers on an international research policy agenda and provided the backbone for this initiative.

More on ESF activities in this area