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Shifting perspectives in polar research: global lessons on the barriers and drivers for securing academic careers in natural sciences
Title: Shifting perspectives in polar research: global lessons on the barriers and drivers for securing academic careers in natural sciences
Authors: Figuerola, BlancaValiente, NicolásBarbosa, AndrésBrasier, Madeleine J.Colominas-Ciuró, RogerConvey, PeterLiggett, DanielaFernández-Martínez, Miguel ÁngelGonzález Herrero, Sergi ORCID RESEARCHERID Autor AEMETGriffiths, Huw JamesJawak, Shridhar D.Merican, FaradinaNoll, DalyPrudencio, JanireQuaglio, FernandaPertierra, Luis R.
Keywords: Austerity; COVID-19; Diversity and inclusion; Interdisciplinarity; Mentoring; Post-doctoral researchers
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Frontiers Media
Citation: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 2021, 9, p. 1-10
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Abstract: The polar regions provide valuable insights into the functioning of the Earth’s regulating systems. Conducting field research in such harsh and remote environments requires strong international cooperation, extended planning horizons, sizable budgets and long-term investment. Consequently, polar research is particularly vulnerable to societal and economic pressures during periods of austerity. The global financial crisis of 2008, and the ensuing decade of economic slowdown, have already adversely affected polar research, and the current COVID-19 pandemic has added further pressure. In this article we present the outcomes of a community survey that aimed to assess the main barriers and success factors identified by academic researchers at all career stages in response to these global crises. The survey results indicate that the primary barriers faced by polar early and mid-career researchers (EMCRs) act at institutional level, while mitigating factors are developed at individual and group levels. Later career scientists report pressure toward taking early retirement as a means of institutions saving money, reducing both academic leadership and the often unrecognized but vital mentor roles that many play. Gender and social inequalities are also perceived as important barriers. Reorganization of institutional operations and more effective strategies for long-term capacity building and retaining of talent, along with reduction in non-research duties shouldered by EMCRs, would make important contributions toward ensuring continued vitality and innovation in the polar research community.
Sponsorship : BF received funding from the post-doctoral fellowships programme Beatriu de Pinós funded by the Secretary of Universities and Research (Government of Catalonia) and by the Horizon 2020 Programme of Research and Innovation of the European Union under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 801370 (Incorporation grant 2019 BP 00183) and the Juan de la Cierva Programme funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation (Incorporation grant IJCI-2017-31478). PC and HJG were supported by NERC core funding to the BAS “Biodiversity, Evolution and Adaptation” Team.
ISSN: 2296-701X
Appears in Collections:Artículos científicos 2019-2022

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