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Early Career Researchers Have a Lot to Give Across Disciplines

Please use us much more. This is the message in a new paper from a group of young researchers at the Center for Healthy Aging at the University of Copenhagen. One of them is PhD. student Kristine Frøsig Moseholm: 

“We need senior researchers to guide us, but they should also trust us with the challenges of working together across disciplines. It can be risky doing interdisciplinary research, it takes longer time as you need to build trusting relationships, develop a common scientific language, and align values and goals. Maybe researchers doing interdisciplinary work should be evaluated differently than only on publications. Maybe we could come up with an evaluation system, where successful collaboration is highly valued”

Here’s the young researchers conclusion:

“As early career researchers make up most of the scientific workforce across disciplines, we possess a critical mass of ideas that may be unique to our career stage. After bringing together early career aging researchers from different fields for a workshop in interdisciplinary science, we experience a genuine drive, confidence, and creativity among young researchers to work goal-oriented and together across disciplines. Collaboration difficulties and complexities of interdisciplinary projects may pose a risk for time-restricted projects for MSc and PhD students, who should also have “safer,” monodisciplinary projects. If early career researchers on, for example, postdoctoral level should have a chance to be involved in the design of larger interdisciplinary research projects, we believe that it is necessary to establish platforms supported by funding agencies or scientific societies where senior researchers solely have advisory roles. Finally, we highly recommend the implementation of creative workshops within and across research departments, for early career researchers to generate and develop their ideas.”

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