Research careers in Finland: problems of dual labour markets

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1 Perttu Vartiainen Rector, University of Joensuu Research careers in Finland: problems of dual labour markets Joint OECD-Spanish Ministry of Education and Science Workshop "Researcher Careers for the 21st Century", April 2006, Madrid Session 2: The Role of Tenure Systems and Flexible Employment Systems in the Development of Research Careers Today

2 Dual labour markets 1. The primary sector prefers to permanent civil servant status, successively more difficult to reach for a new generation of researchers 2. The secondary sector is characterised by short-term employment relationships, little or no prospect of internal promotion

3 R&D personnel in Finland (2004) in total, 2/3 of them are researchers (incl. development engineers) Researchers 1.6 % of total work force (1st in OECD) R&D personnel by sector: Enterprises 53 % Universities 25 % Public research institutes 11 % Other public and non-profit sector 10 % 13 % of R&D personnel has doctoral degree and 57 % academic degree 59 % of PhDs work in universities and 14 % in enterprises

4 Career structure in universities (1) Background: Deregulation A unitary system highly controlled by the Ministries of Finance and Education, but gradual change towards self-governing during the 1980s and 1990s Still in the beginning of the 1990s all professorships were founded by the decision of the parliament and full professors were appointed by the President of the Republic > Today both founding and filling a post is an internal issue of the university

5 Career structure in universities (2) Background: Funding Basic (lump-sum) budgeting from the Ministry of Education: 64 % External sources (mainly public): 36 % 64 % of completed person years in research in universities are financed from external sources

6 Career structure in universities (3) Current multi-tier structure of academic Staff I Civil servants A. permanent staff members in openended posts -> EDUCATION B. quasi-permanent staff members in fixed-term (up to 5 years) posts -> RESEARCH AND EDUCATION C. acting (fixed-term) staff members (in type A or B posts) D. temporary staff members with fixedterm appointments -> RESEARCH II Employees on employment contracts -> RESEARCH A. open-ended B. fixed-term III Part-time workers -> EDUCATION A. Docents B. Hourly instructors

7 Academic staff in universities (2004, N = 14574) Academic posts mainly with permanent civil servant status (IA) Professor 2491 (17 %) Lecturer 2601 (18 %) Fixed-term posts for early-stage or postdoctoral researchers (IB) Senior Assistant 658 (5 %) Assistant 1288 (9 %) Researchers mainly with short-term appointments or contracts (IC, IIB) Researcher 7536 (52 %)

8 Academic staff in wider research system 300 fixed-term research posts (260 Academy Research Fellows, 40 Academy Professors) in Academy of Finland, placed mainly in universities Public research institutes: more Permanent contracts, 17 % of R&D personnel are doctors Share of doctors in universities (%) In total 30 Professor 90 Lecturer 40 Senior Assistant 63 Assistant 13 Researcher 23

9 The number of researchers is growing fastly

10 A product of a new policy emphasis on doctoral education in the mid- 1990s? Employers of new doctors ( ) in 1999 University 41 % Other state 16 % Municipal sector 23 % Enterprise 16 % Private non-profit 5 % 63 % of them were working in R&D

11 Number of fixed -term contracts in universities Survey of Ministry of Finance in 2004: 59 % in fixed-term, of them: 6 % in fixed-term posts by law 16 % doctoral students 36 % in fixed-term contracts or appointments (variation by university: in Joensuu only 40 % in fixed-term employment relationship)

12 Problems of dual academic labour markets (1) 1A. Career development depends on the number of open posts in an individual subject 1B. Low geographical mobility mainly because of family reasons: growing dependency on local labour markets 1C. Civil servant status still as a guarantee of academic freedom? To whom?

13 Problems of dual academic labour markets (2) 2A. The growing mass of researchers with successive fixed-terms contracts 2B. Legality of fixed-term employment relationships? Character of the job as a justification for successive fixed-term contracts? 2C. A growing number of overqualified academic researchers without any (quasi-) permantent post? > From a rigid and unrealistic civil servant post -based model towards a more flexible model in employment relationships?

14 Growing emphasis on career development International Evaluation of the Academy of Finland in 2004 (1) The uncertainty of a researcher's career is a problem in Finland. To solve it, the Academy, universities and the Ministry of Education should draw up a proposal on how to improve the career prospects of researchers embarking on an academic career. One alternative could be to revise the tenure system in universities. * Weak tradition of recruiting PhDs broader in labour markets such as in industry * Academy Research Fellows possibly reduce even further an opportunity to extend their research careers elsewhere, beyond the universities

15 International Evaluation of the Academy of Finland in 2004 (2) > All stakeholders need to work together to create an attractive research career development system in Finland: A tenure-career system is the referred model. Research in Business Disciplines in Finland (2005) There is no academic career track for recently graduated PhDs in Finland

16 Working Group on Researcher's Career instituted by the Ministry of Education (Public only in !) Main problems of research career: 1.Short term contracts/positions 2.Difficulty of mobility between sectors 3.Difficulty to combine external funding and career development 4.Special problems in women's research career 5.Lack of international mobility 6.Weak attractiveness of researcher's career and poor economic situation of researchers 7.Quantity of doctoral education

17 A proposal for a new academic career structure in Finland In accordance with the proposal of the Finnish Council of University Rectors ( ) I level Doctoral Student / Early Stage Researcher (4-year post) II level Postdoctoral Researcher/Scientist (max. 5 years, 3 year post) III level University Researcher/Academy Research Fellow (5-year post with a possibility for renewal and/or tenure) University Lecturer (as a rule tenured post) IV level Professor / Research Professor (as a rule tenured post) Academy Professor (as a rule 5-year post)

18 Note: As a rule teaching and research careers should be combined in all posts. Lecturer in preparatory courses or in artistic subjects could have a tenured post without PhD (comparable to level I). R&D personnel with administrative emphasis and project researchers in 'third task' functions are excluded.

19 THE END 1. A shift from a post-based model towards a more flexible system of career development is needed both from an individual and a societal point of view 2. More structured partnerships between universities, national research institutes and funding bodies are needed to build a new comprehensive research career system in Finland

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