Despite the many political and economical differences across Europe, young scientists are facing similar problems: lack of lab access, senior professors who claim their ideas and complicated rules for how to apply for grants. A group of 70 young researchers are joining forces to find solutions to these and other problems. They have formed the grassroot organisation Young Academy of Europe to lobby politicians and influence research policies, reports Chemical & Engineering News.
Scholars getting started in their career often face difficulties advancing in the academic environment due to strong hierarchical structures. The group is the first association of its kind founded by young scientists, and not by learned societies that create specific divisions for younger members, reports C&EN. The 70 scientists are recipients of European Research Council (ERC) early-career grants.
Policymakers in the European Commission have expressed support for the group and the European agency Cooperation in Science & Technology has helped fund the group. The group currently requires members to be ERC grant holders because the prestige associated with these grants will help them gain respect and attention in Brussels, but plan to expand membership to other scientists as well.