Seminar: Young Researchers’ Careers in Nordic Countries

A roundtable discussion on young researchers’ careers in the Nordic countries with perspectives from the social sciences and humanities.

In several Nordic countries as well as in the EU, several reports point to challenges for young
researchers in the social sciences and humanities (SSH). In this seminar, we would like to
approach two over‐arching issues.

First, over the last decades, challenge‐ and mission‐driven research has become
increasingly important. This tendency has many beneficial effects, for instance in
establishing closer connections between private and public partners or in aiding to make
research agendas more agile and flexible. However, this tendency may also be understood as
increasingly eclipsing more open‐ended, blue‐sky research. This is especially challenging—
some would say worrisome—within the SSH field.

Second, academic career paths for young SSH researchers in the Nordic countries are
under pressure from a range of sources. Such pressure includes the lack of sufficient
research funding, as well as the disconnect between an increasing number of temporary
research positions and a stable or decreasing number of permanent academic positions.
Seeking possible solutions to these problems, we ask:

  • How should the Nordic countries meet this challenge to curiosity‐driven, basic research?
  • In what ways can we ensure, politically and financially, that the SSH field become more robust and thriving?
  • What potential role can collaboration between SSH and other disciplines play?
  • More broadly, what challenges, opportunities and risks does the future hold for young SSH researchers?
  • What new alliances can be forged within and between the Nordic countries, in order to support young scholars within these fields?
  • How can we strengthen the SSH field in Nordic research and education?
  • What roles do higher education institutions play in preparing young SSH researchers for the Nordic labour market?

Moderator of the event is Hilde Sandvik.

Programme

09:00– 09:10 Formal opening

by Rector of the University of Bergen Margareth Hagen. 

09:10 – 09:30 “Norwegian and Nordic Research and Young Researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences” 

Introduction by Norwegian Minister of Research and Higher Education Ola Borten Moe

Key questions: 

  • How do we build better cooperative structures for supporting young SSH researchers across Nordic borders and beyond?  
  • What new alliances can and should be forged within and between the Nordic countries, in order to support young scholars in SSH?  
  • How can we ensure, politically and financially, that the SSH research fields become robust and thriving?  

Q & A  

09:30-10:30   PANEL 1: “Career Paths for Young Researchers in the Nordic Countries: Challenges and Opportunities” 

Key questions:  

  • What responsibility do universities and funders have to support research in the humanities and social sciences? 
  • How can we secure that perspectives from the humanities and social sciences to a greater extent become integral parts of challenge- and mission-driven research?  
  • What roles do higher education institutions play in preparing young SSH researchers for the Nordic labour market? 

Participants: 

10:30-10:50 Break

10:50 – 11:50  PANEL 2: “Research Careers in the Humanities and Social Sciences: Perspectives from Nils Klim Laureates” 

Key questions: 

  • Which supportive frameworks are needed to enable excellent research for young scholars in the Nordic countries? 
  • What role does research mobility between the Nordic countries play? 
  • What is the importance of available blue sky, open-ended research for young researchers? 

Participants: 

  • Assistant Professor at the University of Helsinki and 2021 Nils Klim Laureate Daria Gritsenko 
  • Professor at Umeå University and 2007 Nils Klim Laureate Carina Keskitalo 
  •  Head of NOS-HS (NordForsk) and 2014 Nils Klim Laureate Terje Lohndal
  • Representative from the Young Academy of Norway and Researcher at the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo, Hilde Reinertsen 

11:50 Closing remarks

by Chair of the Holberg Prize Board Kjersti Fløttum.

This event is part of the 2022 Holberg Week, which takes place from 7 to 10 June.

The event is organized by the University of Bergen in collaboration with the Holberg Prize and the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research.

Date

to 11:50, CEST.
Location
The University Aula in Bergen
Practical information
Free admittance.