With the success of last year's event, LuxDoc again joined hands with Entente des Associations de Donneurs de Sang Bénévoles (The Luxembourgish Association of Blood Donors) to promote the blood donation campaign on the International Blood Donor Day which was on 14th of June 2013. This year the association wished to enter the Guinness Book of Records by setting up a mosaic wall of 14.000 magnets. The event was held at Place Guillaume II (Knuedler) in town. Campaign booth was setup to inform people about the importance of donating blood and also to answer their questions.
 
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LuxDoc members, 2 teams of 5 in 2 different shifts, joined with members of the Luxembourgish Association of Blood Donors to build the magnetic wall starting from 9 AM till 5PM. LuxDoc members were also running around the city centre, tourist attractions in fancy blood drop costumes to distribute flyers (and balloons to kids) and to pull the crowd to the event venue. We also attracted many tourists  who took pictures with us J.
 
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In the evening, representatives of Luxembourg parliament, Miss Luxembourg, Miss & Mr. Portugal graced the event positioning the final magnets to finish the wall. Altogether, the event turned out as a great success which was celebrated with a ceremony, serving cake and refreshments, at the end. Adding to this, there were quite a number of people who registered themselves as new blood donors satisfying the ultimate purpose. If you haven’t had the chance to come to the event and you would like to rescue lives, just go to the web page of the Luxembourgish Red Cross and register as a new blood donor. It's never late now and its always better late than never!!
LuxDoc is proud to be a part of this exciting event contributing ourselves a helping hand for making a better society. We also take the chance to show our gratitude to the Red Cross as some of our members use blood from the Red Cross for their research activities.

Statement by eurodoc

Best practice of employee status for PhDs in the Netherlands threatened

Eurodoc is greatly concerned about new developments indicating that the employee status of PhD candidates in the Netherlands is no longer secure. At the University of Groningen, a group of scholarship-funded PhD candidates were given student status by the university. This group, along with the trade union Abvakabo FNV, filed a lawsuit against the university of Groningen in order to acquire employee status. The court of appeals in Leeuwarden has now overturned an earlier ruling and ruled in favour of the university, classifying the scholarship-funded PhD candidates as students.

This is the first time that a judge in the Netherlands has ruled that certain PhD candidates are not employees of the university. Earlier cases at the University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University have always resulted in rulings in favour of the PhD candidates, reaffirming their status as employees.

Eurodoc has viewed the employee status of PhD candidates in the Netherlands as a European best practice example since 2005. In the European Charter for Researchers, the European Commission states that early stage researchers, among which doctoral candidates, should be recognized as professionals, and be treated accordingly. The provision of employment contracts to PhD candidates that provide employee benefits such as parental leave, pension rights, sick pay, and unemployment benefits enhances the attractiveness of research careers within Europe. This is necessary to recruit and retain high quality researchers, and to encourage more young people to pursue a career in research. In alignment with the European University Association, as stated in the Salzburg II recommendations, Eurodoc has continuously promoted the professional status of PhD candidates.

Eurodoc explicitly expresses its strong concern that the ruling that classifies certain PhD candidates in the Netherlands as students might lead to crowding out of employee PhDs by student PhDs for financial reasons. This would be a setback for the Dutch system and could prevent progress towards a professional status for doctoral candidates in other European countries .

Eurodoc urges Dutch politicians to protect PhD candidates by enshrining their employee status in law with a guarantee of equal social-security rights for all PhD candidates independent of how their doctoral training is funded.

Dear Members,

The video contest ’Invest in our Future – Invest in science’ invites you to look at the world afresh and realize the great contribution of science to our lives and the amazing possibilities it opens for our future. Show us why you think investing in science is important and you can win 500 Euros! 

All information about the contest can be found at: www.investinscience.eu and at http://www.facebook.com/investinscience?ref=hl

On April 17, 2013, LuxDoc had the great opportunity to have a guided tour of the first temporary exhibition of the Musée Dräi Eechelen (Musée des Trois Glands or M3E) in 2013. The topic was “Identities in Luxembourg” and showed results of the very successful research project IDENT (Identités socio-culturelles et politiques identitaires au Luxembourg) active from 2007 to 2011.
 
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The concept "My home is my castle" aimed on showing the complexity of identities within a familiar environment: the exhibition was thought like a house and each room showed another part of identity. The exhibition guided the visitor through the various forms and changes of identities starting at the concept of "nation" through "space", "language" or "body" to "gender" and "values".  LuxDoc had the great privilege to be guided through the exhibition by the two curators: Sonja Kmec and Gianna Thommes.

Europe’s Grand Societal Challenges - The Role of Early Stage Researchers

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The working conditions of young researchers, their future perspectives and the role of scientific research in society were the main topics debated at the EURODOC’13 conference that took place at the Fundação Caloust Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal, between 4th and 5th of April, which hosted 300 researchers from different countries.

The event was jointly organised by EURODOC (The European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers) and the Portuguese Association of the Grant-holding Researchers (ABIC- Associação dos Bolseiros de Investigação Científica), with the theme “Europe’s Grand Societal Challenges: the role of Early Stage Researchers”. The conference was opened by Slobodan Radicev, president of Eurodoc, and André Janeco, president of ABIC.

Members of EURODOC (35 national associations of doctorates and young researchers from 34 countries of the European Union and the Council of Europe) highlighted the economic situation in Europe, and the challenges that researchers, in the beginning of their career, have to face. Slobodan Radicev said that “We have to fight for our rights and our role in and outside research institutions, no one else is going to do that for us. We need to take responsibility and give our maximum to make Europe and all European societies a better place for research and living.” André Janeco stressed the fact that this conference was held for the first time in Portugal, “a country with its difficulties and its particularities in research, but also in economic, social and labour conditions”. He expressed his hope that “we can reinforce wider visions on justice and solidarity policies in Europe”.

Based on these themes in mind, EURODOC’13 held four plenary sessions with distinguished speakers from various International, European and national organisations. The topics were:

  • Plenary session I: The EU 2020 Framework Programmes for Research and Sustainable Innovation
  • Plenary session II: Growing in a Healthy Environment: New trends in Research
  • Plenary Session III: Working and research within the Framework of a Sustainable Society
  • Plenary Session IV: Science, Communication and Social Change

Positive evaluation by participants

Feedback from the participants was very positive. One of the highlighted points was the relation between EUROPE 2020 and Horizon 2020 and the practical cases that reveal the societal challenges tackled by researchers. “I liked, in a special way, that it was focused during the first day on the theoretical and political questions, and during the second day on the social aspects of our daily work as researchers”, explained Catarina Costeira, PhD candidate from Portugal. The diversity of the themes analysed was also one of the aspects praised by the participants. “They invited a lot of speakers with a large reputation and from different areas”, said a PhD candidate representing Belgium. “In this event we had the opportunity to discuss different topics. All of this brings an additional value to the conference”, added a member from Macedonia. The precarious financial condition of some countries was also discussed during the two days of the event that combined, in the same place, different researchers from all over Europe. “The divulgationof the problems that young researchers have to live with should be one of the aspects financed by European Union”, said one Greek researcher. “This event should happen more often”, concluded a French researcher.

Annual General Meeting

At Eurodoc’s Annual General Meeting, which took place on April 6-7, a new Eurodoc Board was elected. Slobodan Radicev (Serbia) was re-elected as President of Eurodoc, with the other positions being filled by Kristina Majsec (Vice-president – Croatia), John Peacock (Secretary – Belgium), Patrick Tuijp (Treasurer – The Netherlands), and Jovan Shopovski (Macedonia), Marcin Styrna (Poland) and Ivo Neto (Portugal) as General Board Members.

In the upcoming year, the newly elected board will have its mission: strengthening the position of Eurodoc as a stakeholder in the European research area and higher education area; promoting the importance of the work of PhD candidates and young researchers for improvement of their social conditions; strengthening and reinforcing internal communication with individual volunteers and member associations, as well as institutional partners. The next international conference and annual general meeting, EURODOC’14, will be organized by DOSz (Doktoranduszok Országos Szövetsége) and hosted in Budapest, Hungary.

Taken from www.eurodoc.net

You may download the PDF here