The issues of funding, mobility and employment of young researchers are important policy priorities for the European Research Area (ERA). This contribution by empirica, FHNW (CH) and University Wolverhampton (UK), WP2 of RESCAR, replicates NetReact methodology in a survey of doctoral students and post-docs in social sciences and engineering.
Given these policy priorities and concerns about career outcomes for new doctoral graduates, the scope and coverage for information collected focusses on average time from graduation to (permanent) employment, sector mobility and international mobility.
The main sampling unit is the research team or group, understood as a group of people, scientists and non-scientists, who work at the same location for a significant period of time to produce new scientific knowledge. In accordance with NetReAct methodology, each team is affiliated to universities in one of 10 European countries: the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.
Internet research was used to create a sample frame by identifying the overall population of teams in these countries and fields. Stratified, random sampling was then used to draw a sample of at least 1,000 teams from each research field. A questionnaire was addressed to heads of research teams addressing overall team structure, recruiting strategies and procedures and the origins and destinations of post-docs and PhD students. Analysis provides details on the pattern of employment of young researchers enabling recommendations to be made in respect of researcher career development.