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Career pathways in research: the current data landscape (RoRI Working Paper No.8)

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posted on 18.04.2022, 10:05 by Zeynep Anli, Josephine Bergmans, Inge van der WeijdenInge van der Weijden

A diverse research community—with a broad range of perspectives, backgrounds, skills, knowledge and experience—is a stronger research community. We need a diverse research workforce to ensure that the research done benefits everyone, but there is much we still don’t understand about career pathways in and through research.

Through its Career Pathways in Research project, the Research on Research Institute (RoRI), together with its partners, is investigating how data is collected about research careers, to work out how best to collect and analyse this data in the future. The project focuses on research career pathways in six countries: Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, the UK and the USA. 

The project has been designed collaboratively with a number of RoRI partners: Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Leiden University, Health Research BC, Novo Nordisk Foundation, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Volkswagen Foundation and Wellcome Trust. Its goal is to provide insights to help funders, researchers, institutions, and the wider sector better support careers in research and make them more diverse, reliable and equitable.

This report, prepared by a research team at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University, presents the results of the first phase of the Career Pathways in Research project. Based on a literature study and interviews with RoRI strategic partners, the report explores what data is available on careers in research. The following three research questions were addressed:

  • Who is collecting career data and for what purpose?
  • What framework is used to collect data, and how interoperable and open are the data?
  • What data do we not have?

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