SECURE Project at ESOF 2024: Focusing on Research Career Progression

One of the most important international scientific conferences in Europe, the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF), was held from June 12 to 15 in the Polish city of Katowice, under the slogan “Life Changes Science.” This occasion was perfect for showcasing the SECURE project to a varied audience.

Once again, the conference convened a diverse assembly of scientists from around the globe, each presenting their latest research findings with a keen focus on the tangible impacts these studies have on broader society. The central theme of this year’s ESOF was transformation. The hosts seized the opportunity to illustrate how the Silesian Voivodeship, alongside southern Poland, has navigated through significant transformations across various domains.

photo: CPN

Reflecting this theme, ESOF’s comprehensive program was structured around several key pillars: Digital Transformation, Sustainable Environment, Energy Transition, Cultural Identity and Societal Transformation, Healthy Society, and Changes Within Scientific Excellence.

The organizers aimed to highlight the social, cultural, and economic consequences of major scientific achievements on regional, European, and global levels. Researchers, science communicators, decision-makers, entrepreneurs, journalists, and other attendees at the International Congress Center in Katowice discussed science as a crucial factor driving changes in everyday life, as the reverse process – how “life changes science.”

“I feel that we are witnessing something exceptionally significant today. Something that began when Katowice was declared the European City of Science and is now materializing with this conference. I have no doubt that what Silesia has gone through is one of the greatest transformations. This change has profoundly affected numerous and diverse aspects of our lives,” said Michał Daszykowsky, Coordinator of the ESOF 2024 Program Committee and Vice-Rector for Science and Finance at the University of Silesia, at the opening ceremony.

ESOF, held every two years, attracted 3,500 participants to Katowice and offered them over 120 different activities, six plenary sessions, seven seminars, and ten keynote lectures.

The sessions offered not only insights into ongoing research but also underscored the critical role of interdisciplinary collaboration in tackling modern challenges. They emphasized the necessity for stakeholders from diverse fields to work together in finding sustainable solutions to global problems.

At this prestigious conference, the SECURE project was prominently featured, highlighting its significant contributions to advancing research careers across Europe. As a valuable initiative presented at this year’s conference, SECURE’s mission is to develop and implement measures aimed at improving the career prospects of researchers while addressing the pervasive issue of job insecurity within the scientific community.

photo: ESOF

The session featured insights from the SECURE project, which is dedicated to developing measures to improve research careers and reduce job insecurity. Moderated by Gareth O’Neill, the session featured a distinguished panel of participants, including Dario Capezzuto, Luisa Henriques, Clare Viney, Silvia Gómez Recio, and Sebastian Dahle. These key stakeholders and experts led the discussion on implementing the new Research Career Framework and Tenure Track-Like Models. The interactive dialogue fostered an engaging conversation about the future of research careers.

Attendees were invited to visit the SECURE project booth during coffee breaks to learn more about the initiative. The booth offered a chance to engage with the SECURE team and discover their efforts in shaping the future of research careers. The session and booth visits underscored the importance of collaborative efforts in developing sustainable career pathways for researchers, highlighting SECURE’s commitment to this goal.