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From precarious conditions to permanent positions? Problems, responsible actors, and solutions for strengthening the academic mid-level staff in Switzerland


Ryffel, Quirin; Marschlich, Sarah; Fürst, Silke; Thai, Stefanie (2022). From precarious conditions to permanent positions? Problems, responsible actors, and solutions for strengthening the academic mid-level staff in Switzerland. Studies in Communication Sciences, 22(3):575-582.

Abstract

The precarious situation of doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, resulting from fixed-term contracts and the demanding working conditions of young researchers at Swiss universities, has been increasingly discussed in recent years by academic organizations, political actors, and the broader public. While discussions on various levels are intensifying, concrete measures remain largely absent, and young researchers find themselves in an environment of job insecurity and a lack of prospects. Therefore, we organized a panel discussion on why and how to create permanent positions in the Swiss academic system during this year’s annual conference of the Swiss Association of Communication and Media Research (SACM). The panel included presentations of preliminary results from a recent study analyzing the working conditions of young and emerging communication and media scholars in Switzerland as well as discussions with researchers and actors from science organizations regarding: 1) the need for improvement of the current working conditions and the future perspectives of mid-level staff at Swiss universities, 2) the responsibilities of different actors, and 3) alternatives to the status quo that help solve the precarious situation of young and emerging scholars in Switzerland and beyond. The discussion showed several reasons for establishing more permanent positions and inducing a systemic change. While there are manifold arguments for creating more permanent positions, these arguments must appeal to those with decision-making power.

Abstract

The precarious situation of doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, resulting from fixed-term contracts and the demanding working conditions of young researchers at Swiss universities, has been increasingly discussed in recent years by academic organizations, political actors, and the broader public. While discussions on various levels are intensifying, concrete measures remain largely absent, and young researchers find themselves in an environment of job insecurity and a lack of prospects. Therefore, we organized a panel discussion on why and how to create permanent positions in the Swiss academic system during this year’s annual conference of the Swiss Association of Communication and Media Research (SACM). The panel included presentations of preliminary results from a recent study analyzing the working conditions of young and emerging communication and media scholars in Switzerland as well as discussions with researchers and actors from science organizations regarding: 1) the need for improvement of the current working conditions and the future perspectives of mid-level staff at Swiss universities, 2) the responsibilities of different actors, and 3) alternatives to the status quo that help solve the precarious situation of young and emerging scholars in Switzerland and beyond. The discussion showed several reasons for establishing more permanent positions and inducing a systemic change. While there are manifold arguments for creating more permanent positions, these arguments must appeal to those with decision-making power.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute for Research on the Public Sphere and Society
Dewey Decimal Classification:070 News media, journalism & publishing
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Communication
Uncontrolled Keywords:Media and communication science, higher education system, precarious academic working conditions, mid-level staff
Language:English
Date:28 December 2022
Deposited On:08 Feb 2023 13:37
Last Modified:27 Mar 2024 04:31
Publisher:Seismo Verlag
ISSN:1424-4896
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.24434/j.scoms.2022.03.3936
Official URL:https://www.hope.uzh.ch/scoms/article/view/3936
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)