Pressing letter young scientists: Don’t let us down

Knowledge is lost, potential innovations stagnate and careers become frustrated. In short, these are the consequences of the corona crisis for young scientists if nothing happens. That is why on Monday 13 July the PhD candidates Network Netherlands, PostdocNL and The Young Academy will send a pressing letter fire to the government on behalf of all Dutch Young Academies, requesting a continuity package of € 350 million.

Like many other sectors, the academic world has had to adapt its activities in recent months to the new normal. This was feasible for scientists with permanent appointments, but not for young researchers on temporary contracts, such as PhD candidates and postdocs. They have to complete and publish various subprojects in a limited period of time, as well as apply and write applications for follow-up research. Many of them are unable to complete their research projects successfully due to the crisis, as a result of which earlier investments in knowledge and researchers are now at risk of being lost.

The sector has already done a lot to deal with the delay, but its own resources and reserves are insufficient to guarantee the continuity of research and innovation. That is why we are now calling for a continuity package of € 350 million to support the research of the upcoming generation. This would make it possible to extend appointments as needed to a maximum of, for example, six months. Several neighbouring countries, such as Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, have already preceded the Netherlands. The amount of € 350 million was arrived at on the basis of internal calculations by the VSNU, NFU, NWO and KNAW.

Here you can find the translation of the letter