During the last decade, there has been a significant increase in the number of new researchers integrating the National Scientific and Technological system. Initially, most researchers were hired under the Associated Laboratories, and more recently in the scope of Programa Ciência, promoted by the Portuguese state. From the 15th of July to the 30th of September 2006, FCT opened an institutional call in which Portuguese Universities and Research Institutes could apply for funding to hire almost 800 Investigadores Auxiliares. In 2007 the first job openings for doctoral researchers were posted in the ERACAREERS portal. University of Minho was among the Portuguese Institutions that hired a larger number of researchers in this first call. More than 50% of the hired Investigadores were foreign, and naturally, the need for a more efficient organization and for the creation of a communication forum between all Investigadores Auxiliares resulted in the formation of an informal group representing this new community. The main objectives of this network of Investigadores were:
• encourage contacts between researchers in different research centers at the University;
• become a visible group at the University, well integrated in scientific and management bodies, when appropriate;
• establish contacts with other assistant researchers nationwide, creating a network of contacts and discussion forums;
• monitor the availability of resources and facilities necessary to conduct high-quality research;
• discuss and monitor career perspectives of the researchers within the University of Minho and at the national level.
After some internal discussions, this network of researchers at the University of Minho decided to reach out to the remaining colleagues at different universities, and organized the 1st National Meeting. From this meeting, the road to the creation of an Installation Committee of the future National Association of Science and Technology Researchers (ANICT) was born. Following this first national meeting, some of the founding members of ANICT attended a Parliamentary Hearing and a meeting with the Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education. ANICT gained legal status on the 8th January 2010. More information about the founding members of ANICT can be found here.
The list of members who were part of the ANICT management can be found here.