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A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF THE CAREER DECISIONS OF ASTROPHYSICISTS: RELOCATION, LIFE-WORK BALANCE, AND REPUTATIONS (ASTROMOVES)

Project description

Ensuring equality in the careers of astrophysicists

One of the top priorities of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme is to promote equality in science. This particularly applies to underrepresented groups like women and eastern Europeans working in fields like science, technology and mathematics. For instance, studies show that women astrophysicists must be more mobile and work abroad more than their male counterparts in order to secure the same positions. The EU-funded ASTROMOVES project will interview 50 astrophysicists 8 years after their doctorate. The study will focus on their careers and relocations, as well as the problems they faced and professional decisions they needed to make. The findings will shed light on how to improve the professional equality of astrophysicists and other scientists from underrepresented groups.

Objective

The number of members of underrepresented groups (including women & Eastern Europeans for the EU) participating in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics continues to be of concern at the local, national, and international level including it being a priority of MSCA. The issue of underrepresented groups participating fully in astrophysics has been a long-standing concern of astrophysicists worldwide. Astrophysicists recognize the importance of mobility in building a scientific career, but social science research revealed that women astrophysicists have to move more often & stay abroad longer to achieve the same career rank as men (analysis has not been done for astrophysicists embodying other forms of underrepresentation). ASTROMOVES examines the careers of astrophysicists (men, women & the gender diverse), their career decision-making and the role of mobility. 50 astrophysicists (European or worked in Europe) more than 8 years past their doctorate (>two career relocations), will be interviewed using semi-structured interviews focused on each of their career moves & their underlying decision-making process. Of interest is if their decision-making includes perceptions of scientific reputation, discrimination/bullying, family friendliness & career enhancement and how each astrophysicist ranks these. Training includes learning the latest qualitative analysis software for analysing the interviews and the latest visualization techniques for showing career moves consecutively. The research results will inform policies to support & enhance the careers of underrepresented astrophysicists with broader implications for STEM in Europe. Project deliverables include peer-reviewed articles, scholarly presentations, public lectures & a documentary film. The project will be based in the STIS department at UEDIN, proximate to the UK Royal Observatory. My career goal is to obtain a position in an interdisciplinary department similar to STIS.

Coordinator

THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
Net EU contribution
€ 224 933,76
Address
OLD COLLEGE, SOUTH BRIDGE
EH8 9YL Edinburgh
United Kingdom

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Region
Scotland Eastern Scotland Edinburgh
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 224 933,76