The GYA organised a very well attended “crowd sourcing” session on “What environment is required to fulfil the role of a scientist” during the EuroScience Open Forum, 21 June 2014 in Copenhagen.

As young scientists face a multitude of challenges in their research environments, there is increasing pressure to perform, to conform. Sometimes, diversifying beyond traditional niches is the only way forward. Early career scientists possess an immense drive to engage, but this potential is not always met by opportunities and they feel that their wings are clipped.

Looking towards solutions for overcoming this dilemma, the session engaged the participants in an interactive debate on the role of a scientist and on the environment required to fulfil it. The session was drawing from the results of two studies performed by the GYA: a) the “Global State of Young Scientists (GloSYS)”, on the challenges and opportunities of young scholars; and b) “Perceptions of Research Excellence in Thailand and Japan”, that assessed the research environment, the promotion of opportunities, and the structures that ensue from assessment criteria. The dialogue between the two GYA members Catherine Beaudry and Martin Dominik, Liudvika Leisyte (TU Dortmund) and Alaa Ibrahim (American University in Cairo), as well as the participants of the session touched on issues regarding the size of research grants, mobility, collaboration, gender issues, promotion criteria, peer review, to name a few.