Postdoctoral researchers from APECS Spain and other APECS NCs, along with ECRs and senior researchers from different countries published a perspective article in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution on how it is to pursue a career in polar research these days
Job insecurity and instability are the main obstacles for polar early and mid-career researchers, while networking and international mobility increase their chances of success.
The publication presents outcomes of a community survey that aimed to assess the main barriers and success factors identified by academic researchers at all career stages in response to global crises, such as the 2008 global financial crisis and the COVID pandemic. Conducting field work in remote environments requires strong international cooperation, extended planning horizons, sizable budgets and long term investment. Consequently, polar research is particularly vulnerable to societal & economic pressures during periods of austerity. The survey results indicate that the primary barriers faced by polar early and mid-career researchers (EMCRs) act at institutional level. These included job insecurity (68%), limited employment opportunities (67%) and bureaucracy (60%). EMCRs felt that the most important success factors were found at group and individual levels and were related to life experiences (90%), networking (78%) and international mobility (71%). The survey results highlight the need for greater institutional support to promote opportunities for leadership, networking, international mobility and awareness of employment opportunities for EMCRs. The survey also highlights the need for reduction of administrative duties, and for steps to be taken to overcome economic disadvantages. Finally, they increase awareness about existing inequalities and the need for taking measures to tackle these.
Please see the arcticle here: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fevo.2021.777009/full
Link to the news on APECS Spain's website: https://apecsspain.wordpress.com/2021/11/22/perspectivas-en-ciencia-polar/