The fifth Doctoral Academy Day - held online for the first time - on November 12, 2020, was devoted to the conditions for success and challenges of international research careers under the title "A Hitchhiker's Guide Through Academia".
Christof Gattringer, Vice-Rector for Research and Career Development, and Peter Scherrer, Director of the Doctoral Academy, opened the virtual conference and emphasized in their speeches that it is particularly important in times of restricted mobility to continue promoting early stage researchers in international contexts.
In her keynote address, Bettina Hollstein, the managing director of the Max Weber Kolleg at the University of Erfurt, made it clear which aspects need to be taken into account, especially when it comes to institutional support for early stage researchers. Hollstein pointed out, among other things, that mobility does not only affect individuals, but that enabling international academic work should be the structure-building goal of all areas - research, teaching and services - of a graduate institution.
Be visible internationally: but how? Helmut Eberhart, academic coordinator of the European University Alliance Arqus, presented the funding opportunities that this EU project offers internationally oriented early stage researchers. Even if it is currently difficult to use these opportunities, according to Eberhart, the coronavirus will not be able to permanently affect the exchange of research and ideas across national borders.
In a final round table, Monika Oberer, Daniel Boese, Tina Ehrke-Rabel and Florian Bieber - all four speakers of member consortia of the Doctoral Academy - reflected on the importance of personal mobility and active international networking for their academic careers. In the discussion led by Gudrun Salmhofer, Head of the Department of Academic Services, the connection between constant mobility, precarious working conditions and a flexible living environment was pointed out. Early-stage researchers have to decide, the participants agreed, whether they would like to use the extraordinary professional development opportunities of international research stays within these challenging framework conditions.
[Translation of the report about the Doctoral Academy Day 2020 by Gerald Lind & Konstantin Tzivanopoulos (Johanna Stadlbauer), see German version here: https://news.uni-graz.at/en/detail/article/weltweit-sichtbar/]