Driving Change: SECURE Unveils Draft Framework for Research Careers

The SECURE project has introduced a significant milestone by releasing the first draft of the Research Career Framework (RCF), underscoring its commitment to improving research conditions and opportunities in Europe. This development is a direct response to the new European Framework for Research Careers (EFfRC), aiming to align with existing initiatives and improve the overall research environment.

The SECURE RCF, detailed in deliverable D2.1, builds upon key European initiatives such as the European Charter for Researchers, ResearchComp, and ESCO. It covers all stages of a research career, addressing crucial aspects like fair assessment, inclusivity, and promotion of Open Science principles. Furthermore, the RCF incorporates proposals for tenure track-like models (TTLMs), offering a comprehensive approach to career progression.

The baseline of this document lies with the EFfRC, which outlines 42 initiatives and 44 recommendations across eight thematic pillars. These recommendations serve as the foundation for concrete actions outlined in the draft RCF, providing guidance to research-performing organizations (RPOs) and research-funding organizations (RFOs) on enhancing research careers.

The European Charter for Researchers, defining the relationship between researchers and employers, and ResearchComp, assessing and developing transferable skills, are integral components of the SECURE RCF. By translating EFfRC recommendations into actionable steps, the draft RCF aims to address challenges and foster flexibility in implementation.

The first draft of the RCF addresses 6 main questions aimed at RPOs and RFOs for each recommendation in the EFfRC:

• How could this recommendation be relevant for RPOs and RFOs?

• Which principles of the Charter could be relevant for this recommendation?

• How could ResearchComp and ESCO be relevant for this recommendation?

• How could this recommendation reduce the precarity of research careers?

• Which actions could implement this recommendation at RPOs and RFOs?

• Which challenges could hinder this recommendation at RPOs and RFOs?

Each pillar of the EFfRC is systematically addressed in the report, with corresponding actions outlined for RPOs and RFOs. Largely, feedback from consultations and trials will shape a refined final version of the RCF, ensuring its effectiveness in advancing research careers across Europe.

With the introduction of the SECURE Research Career Framework, the project represents a notable development towards enhancing the European research landscape, promoting inclusivity, fairness, and sustainability in research careers.