Junior scientists in Western Balkan Countries (WBC) have limited space and freedom to conduct quality research at universities and institutes in WBC. Research in general is not valued enough as a contribution towards solving critical issues and problems of society, economy and politics.
Furthermore, the interlinking between research advancement and university curriculum and teaching methods is weak and only marginally appreciated. Universities - which harbour the grand share of research activities – tend to consider themselves primarily as institutions for academic education mainly through teaching; research is mostly in the interest and responsibility of individual scholars, lacking de facto the deserved appreciation. Most often, it is the responsibility of PhD students to acquire grants for their doctoral research and mobility at institutions abroad.
Representatives of PERFORM and JSC-WBP have engaged in a dialogue on the issue of enabling the contribution of junior scientists to the JSC-WBP and the overall Western Balkan Process. This includes – inter alia – a reflection on an improved positioning of junior researchers in their national science systems and the enhancement of intra-regional (WB) exchange and cooperation.
Against this background, PERFORM facilitated a process of drafting a position paper by junior researchers and academic professionals from the WBC, as a preparatory step for the 2nd JSC-WBP in Vienna, 22-24 May 2016. Three representatives of junior researchers had the opportunity to participate at the 2nd JSC-WBP in Vienna, as full members of the main stakeholder group. Thus they were involved both in the main consultations and in the post-meeting negotiations on drafting the 2nd Joint Statement. The latter will be subsequently inserted into the consultations of the 3rd Western Balkans Process Summit (of heads of government and ministers), to be held in Paris, in July 2016.
*Photo by Aleksandar Andjic
27/11/2015 Junior Scientists to Take Active Part in the Berlin Process
15/04/2016 National Workshops of Junior Scientists held in Western Balkan Countries
19/04/2016 Regional Conference of Junior Scientists Opened
20/05/2016 Junior Scientists' Opinion in the Frame of the Joint Science Conference - Western Balkans Process
25/05/2016 Junior Scientists at the 2nd JS Conference in Vienna