Graduate Career Tracking in Europe

Organized by the European Science Foundation, CIRGE participated in the workshop “How to track the researcher’s career” in Luxembourg, February 2011. The event highlighted the relevance of research career tracking in the European research agenda.

According to the main conclusions, knowing how researchers move in their careers will contribute to improve the quality of research, to understand the decision of researchers in their careers and to provide accountability to the tax-payer.

By following up with doctoral graduates, surveying them after graduation, and tracking studies, CIRGE assessed the suitability of funding, the quality of training and working conditions offered during the doctoral phase, and also explored the quality of doctoral training.

A major reason for carrying out career tracking studies is to provide the information on career movements and understand international and intersectorial mobility as well as employment patterns of researchers.

On the other hand, these studies indirectly measure the impact, which is an interesting source for the funders of doctoral education, in most cases, tax payers.

Dr. Maresi Nerad, key speaker in this workshop, asserted that career studies of masters and doctorates should be used with a broader purpose than for labor market concerns and to “focus on understanding the diverse developments of the individual within intersections of their private lives, institutional and societal forces.”

In her opinion, these studies should also take into account the many attempts undertaken by national research funding agencies for innovative interdisciplinary programs with international involvements.

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