Towards a sustainable research career with progression based on merit

Monthly Archives: March 2010

Meeting with the Rector and Vice-Rector of Universidade do Minho

On the 24th of March 2010, the presidents of the Board of Directors and of the General Assembly of ANICT met with the Rector and Vice-Rector for Research of Universidade do Minho, Professor António Cunha and Professor Rui Vieira de Castro, respectively, to discuss matters related with the integration of Investigadores Auxiliares from Ciência 2007 and 2008. An institutional relationship was established between the Rectory and ANICT, with further meetings already being planned.

Meeting with FCT

On the 23rd of March 2010, ANICT had a first institutional meeting with FCT. Several topics were addressed:

  • It was agreed to schedule regular meetings between ANICT and FCT.
  • Prof. João Sentieiro accepted our invitation to take part in the ANICT 2010 Symposium. Furthermore, FCT agreed to help promote the symposium, by advertising it in their webpage and by sending an email directly to all Investigadores.
  • We were informed that the survey to Ciência 2007 was showing good progress, with first results expected in April 2010. FCT agreed with our suggestion to present preliminary results of the survey at ANICT 2010. Finally, FCT confirmed that they intended to extend the survey to Ciência 2008 researchers.
  • ANICT was informally invited to take part in the Ciência 2010 Meeting (Encontro com a Ciência em Portugal).
  • ANICT posed some concerns regarding the internal distribution of “plurianual” funding in different institutions. FCT cleared some doubts regarding the “plurianual” regulations. In particular, FCT stated that the management of the funding is entirely under responsibility of the Research Units.
  • The conditions of integration of Ciência researchers were discussed. We mentioned some cases where the IAs were experiencing serious obstacles for carrying out autonomous research. FCT suggested that ANICT could act as an intermediate, bringing those cases to the attention of FCT. Regarding cases of extreme integration problems, FCT re-stated the possibility of moving the IA to a new institution, after listening to all parties involved.
  • FCT informed us that they were aware of some situations where the IAs were being forced to lecture classes. FCT clarified that teaching of Ciência researchers should be strictly voluntary and limited to a maximum of 4 hours per week.
  • The rules for FCT research project calls were discussed. In particular, FCT proposed limiting the maximum number of projects in which a researcher could be simultaneously involved. ANICT agreed with this suggestion. We emphasised the need to enforce accountability of the evaluation panels, and FCT mentioned that measures were already being enforced for that purpose. FCT also said that the evaluation reports would be more detailed in the future.
  • ANICT and FCT agreed on the need to study a procedure for the individual evaluation of researchers. We informed that we were already studying this issue, and that it would be important for ANICT to be an active partner in the development of such a process. FCT agreed.
  • Several aspects regarding scientific funding were discussed.
  • FCT stated their intention to gradually transform post-doc grants into employment contracts.

Café de Ciência devoted to Biodiversity

On the 17th of March 2010, ANICT was represented by Nuno Cerca and Nicolas Lori at the Café de Ciência 2010, jointly organized by Agência Nacional para a Cultura Científica e Tecnológica and by Comissão Parlamentar para a Educação e Ciência, on the subject of Biodiversity. Two other ANICT members, who carry out research in this field, were also invited to this event of science communication to the political community.