“breathless” system. This emanates from studying Commissioned by the University of Geneva (Unige), which wanted to make an inventory of the professional status of the average body, with harsh working conditions. Words from Mathilde Matras, member of the Committee of the Intermediate Association of the Intermediate Body of Collaborators in Teaching and Research (to agree). “The conclusions of this survey show that the problems that burden the cadre of the intermediary body are not individual cases, but rather a structural evil,” analyzes the PhD assistant at the Faculty of Arts at the Geneva Foundation.
The intermediate body represents non-permanent researchers, i.e. non-professors. It includes young people at the beginning of their careers as post-doctoral students, but also degrees and other positions such as scientific collaborators, lecturers and other lecturers. In Geneva, 3,800 people were affected. Mostly under fixed-term contracts, they say they suffer from the inherent instability of their profession. These contracts are the result of the regulation of science funding, with the majority of grants earmarked for short periods, ranging from one to four years.
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Excellence is productivity
The current poll, about which the Accorder Society was consulted, shows that half of the respondents say they fear a slide into instability. “It’s more than a feeling, it’s really a risk, nuance Mathilde Matras. A large portion of the people who say they are sedentary are 35-40 years old and sometimes have seven to eight years of short contracts; 50% don’t take all their vacations and 95 % say they work in their spare time. The current academic system epitomizes a researcher’s scientific excellence in his productivity”, comments Matilde Matras.
In addition, the incidence of harassment is alarmingly high: 22% of respondents said that they experienced it personally. In addition, 3.4% of respondents said they had been victims of sexual harassment and 12.9% reported having witnessed such acts. For Mathilde Matras, “One in five people faces harassment, it is concerning. We can especially see the effects of the great concentration of power by faculty, which encourages multiple abuses. Often no one dares to speak up, either in solidarity or Fearing for his career, the researcher adds.
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The Director of Unige University says the establishment of a work plan to improve the situation. In particular, he plans to provide better information about jobs, to promote non-academic paths within the university, and finally to publish additional training to “facilitate the transition from university”. A first step in a project that promises to be formidable, which by its structural nature transcends the university’s framework.
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