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Acfas J2R: But where is the next generation?

Acfas J2R: But where is the next generation?

From 25 to 28 October Next Generation Research Days In Montreal at the UQAM headquarters. Unfortunately, the participation rate was far from good…

Written by Camille Cinson, multi-platform journalist

Image source: Homblin Dumas – ACFAS

Eleventh edition of J2RThis annual gathering, organized in collaboration with the Fonds de Recherche du Québec, provides the opportunity for second and third year students to meet inspiring scholars and professionals. Between roundtables, happy hours and thematic workshops, there were many opportunities to learn more about stress management, the role of artificial intelligence, how to write a scientific communication or even how FRQ grant applications work. . Open to 200 students and postdoctoral researchers from all regions of Canadian Francophonie, tickets for this event sold out in just a few days! A waiting list was even created, but it only allowed a few people to get a spot.

What surprised me was that out of 200 interested people, only about a hundred showed up. Illnesses, busy schedules, unexpected last-minute events, I don’t know exactly what causes this absence, but it’s unfortunate that those on the waiting list have had to experience it.

However, the organization of J2R is similar to that of previous editions: at the same time of the year, there are still similar training activities, 5 to 7 popular marathons, etc. Some of the topics covered were new, as they were developed in partnership with the host university! For example, a workshop was created specifically for undergraduate students to enable them to demystify the world of undergraduate research.

Image source: Homblin Dumas – Akvas

Campus impact I went to meet the participants, and their testimonies were very similar: Maud Gauthier (MA in Health Law and Policy) explains, “J2Rs is a great opportunity for research students to create a community and share common challenges and opportunities. [Elle est] Glad I was able to be part of this gathering. » A sentiment shared by Daphne Beaudoin (LLM) who sees the event as “an opportunity to meet other graduate students from all fields. A place to discuss the challenges posed by the postgraduate situation and an opportunity to share our concerns about the future.” » Although she particularly enjoyed the interview Passionate people facing the same challenges, but she highlights one downside: “I would have liked to hold workshops on more targeted topics that align with the challenges of my field. » Jerome Fortier (Master’s degree in Epidemiology) has the same opinion; Although he recognizes the interest in networking and the ability to explore what is being done in other areas, he admits that “we must reconsider the importance of certain workshops.”

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Overall, students recognize the benefit of such an event, helping to create a sense of community and understanding of issues related to this high-performing field that graduate study represents.

Image source: Homblin Dumas – Akvas

We also spoke with Sophie Montreuil, Managing Director of Acfas, who discussed the importance of J2Rs: “We are designing this event to provide members of the next generation of researchers with workshops on topics they are not familiar with. This is not a conference to participate in the advancement of knowledge, but to reflect on all Surrounding the world of research. With our experts, we try to provide a framework that allows students to better understand their employment prospects outside of their university career, and to realize that their professional skills go beyond the area of ​​expertise in their specialty. We want to open up the understanding of the next generation of researchers to the enormous potential they are developing for Projecting themselves into the future.”

Finally, J2Rs represent a great opportunity for graduate students to meet. It is an event created specifically to help them navigate this ecosystem with many obstacles, but it also turns out to be a great adventure that you have to know how to take advantage of. Who said that academic research must be compatible with isolation? So next year we will be gathering in droves in Sherbrooke to make our community shine!

Image source: Homblin Dumas – Akvas