Cuestionario de Eurodoc

Part One: Present Status / General Questions

1. Have there been any changes in the status and/or conditions of doctoral candidates in the past year? Have there been any major changes in Higher Education or Research policies in country the past year? If yes – how have this affected the conditions of ESR's?

There hasn't been any major change in the national regulations regarding the labour conditions of doctoral candidates. However, minor changes occurred:

  • the Spanish National Research Council and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia prohibited last year granting scientists in their institutions with funding from research projects, being nowadays compulsory to pay researchers through contracts.
  • the reform in 2007 of the Organic Law of Universities in Spain ( reduced the number of teaching hours for Assistant Professors developing a Ph.D. ("Profesor Ayudante no Doctor")to 60h, so that, more time is available for those ESR to dedicate to finish their Ph.D.
  • New minor law (RD 1393/2007) concerning regulation of the University studies, in some way Doctorate studies are strengthened.

2. What are the major concerns of doctoral candidates in your country? And how is your association trying to address them?

- Uniform labour conditions: all young researchers should be contracted and contributing to the Social Security and Unemployment systems for the whole duration of their early years as researchers. End of the diversity of laboral conditions of the research grants and contracts.
- Long term planning of the research career. Nowadays, the beginning and continuation of the research career in Spain is full of obstacles and stops, because of a poor long-term planning and coordination between the different responsible institutions.

3. What have been the major projects for your association this past year?

- Starting up a campaign to support the claims of the Spanish postdocs that are still without fringe rights (social security, unemployment rate, etc) in spite of the Statute approved in 2006.
- Spreading the word: a campaign to increase the awareness of doctoral candidates regarding their precarious work conditions and the hard future offered by the R+D system.
- Lobbying Universities to make them forbid granting young scientists, urging them to opt for contracts.
- Completing a report that describes the situation of researchers working without any income and includes some suggestions for the progressive suppression of this unwanted situation.
- Contacts with the political parties to "stimulate" them to include some of our reivindications in their manifestos for the next elections.
- The association has also accomplished a series of internal changes as to reduce the number of commissions, divert some of the discussion from email list to web forum and promote the use of a new web site based in the collaborative effort of the community.

4. Does your association feel that being a part of Eurodoc has been fruitful this past year? - If yes, in what way? If not, why not?

- The association seems to be proud of belonging to Eurodoc and of Eurodoc work when something is achieved and told them, but they are not aware of the potential in everyday life, inside the borders.
- No. Perhaps because the interchange of information is little and slow.

Part Two: Thematic Questions

A. Career Development

1. How are the interests of doctoral graduates who end up working outside academia represented in your country? Are there any organizations representing doctoral graduates who have left academia?

- None that I am aware.
- None that we know

2. Has the Eurodoc core career paths proposal been taken up in your country? If yes, in what way? If not, why not?

consult document in:

- As far as we know, Academia is the only place where a kind of structured career path can be traced.
- Only few organization claim to have taken up the proposal but, most of the time, in a very limited version of it.

3. Are there any qualifications higher than the doctorate/PhD in your country? If yes, tell us more about them and their relevance for people wanting to work in academia.

PhD is the highest academic qualification in Spain.

4. How easy is it for doctoral graduates who work outside of academia to re-enter academia in your country, particularly if they don't have (enough/many) peer-reviewed publications? Are there any ways other than peer-reviewed publications to achieve academic careers in your country (for example, patents)? What alternative measures of (research) excellence are there in your country?

- I guess patents are as important as peer-reviewed publications. If the person who wants to go back to academia has some contact in a University or research institution, it should not be difficult to start a collaboration that brings him/her back into public research. (Roke-discrepo, sin publicaciones no se reincorpora ni Dios y las patentes no se valoran en los concursos como los papers, como mucho la mitad en lo que conozco)(yo también discrepo y añado que si no te conoce nadie, es decir, si no eres de la casa o tienes buenas referencias, las posibilidades disminuyen drásticamente en algunas áreas)
- In certain fields, patents are also valuable, but most areas look for peer-reviewed papers.

5. Tell us about interdisciplinary research in your country? How does it work? Is it being encouraged? Is it easy to get funding for it?

- I think the latest project grants greatly acknowledge interdisciplinary research and doctoral programmes welcome PhD candidates of different disciplines on account of their CV.
- But, as each PI can only take part of a very limited number of different project, the fact is that this interdisciplinary approach is limited and the network quite reduced.

6. How easy/difficult is it to work part-time in academia in your country?

- Most public funding require full-time dedication; part-time is possible in some cases if agreed with your supervisor, very uncommon.
- On the other hand, many researchers work with a part-time contract,even if they work in academia at full-time.

7. What is the value of the doctorate in non-academic careers in your country?

- None, only a 4% of the companies seem to value the doctorate degree (Análisis Fundación-Empresa).
- In Spain, the doctorate is very rarely valued in industry. Even, having a doctorate is a problem when you apply for a position in industry.
- Official categories in tables for retribution in Spanish Administration, as a reference, don't separate Ph.D. from Degree; thus, having a Ph.D. doesn't mean higher retribution (just is counted as a merit to get a position in some jobs)

B. Mobility

1. Do you think that researcher's mobility should be evaluated? )? Are you aware of any example of evaluating mobility (in your country or internationally)? Can you propose a way in which it should be done? For which purposes this could be used (for example: advantage for new position for researcher, for institution or similar)?

-I think research mobility is well evaluated already, when applying for research positions, funding, contracts, grants, etc.

2) Have you had any experience with virtual mobility (including research, training, seminars, etc)? If yes, can you give us example and your experience with it? Can you explain benefits of it? Which obstacles have you faced in order to realize it?

- Not virtual. When I move, I cross borders and continents ;-)
- Virtual mobility is not popular in Spain. A "real" mobility is what you can find, and that's a lot.

3) Do you know any examples that individual researchers contributed to establishing the cooperation between different institutions (institution of origin and host institution)? If yes, please give us an example

-I have been able to do so myself, during my PhD and afterwards. There are not yet so many people ready to move to another country (or continent) yet in Spain, so the ones who leave are appreciated, I guess.
- Yes, with the "Centre for Water Research", University of Western Australia, to use their source code of their professional Ecological Model for aquatic ecosystems for research, as far as my Ph.D. was conerned and lasted (; Xavi)
- Yes, with Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, to let them use our free software model for research on dissolved oxygen in microtidal estuaries and lagoons ( - Xavi).

4) Do you think that mobility of researchers organized within frames of institutional cooperation or partnership offers more benefits to researchers in comparison to those without institutional frames? Can you give us some example?

-Moving within well organized frames facilitates the life and work of the researcher in the host country, as all things related to social and professional life are already established for him/her before his/her arrival, and everybody know in what terms he/she is going there. Moving without institutional frames makes the researcher to lose at least one week with paperwork and explanations and sometimes his/her status in the host institution is not clear.

5) Can you give us some example from your own experience or experience of your colleagues on how inter-sectoral mobility (university-industry, public-private, etc) contributed to career development and excellence in research?

-I think there are only few examples of that in Spain and I cannot give details of them
- Yes, in research on new methodologies of teaching. Active contributions in associations out of my university degree allowed me to improve my career on the teaching side, getting experience and expertise, beyond the research on Ecology side (my main research line during my Ph.D.), which allowed me to be hired as a consultant by other public universities in new methodologies of teaching (Xavi).
- None (Roke).
- In plant breeding and agricultural research is common the collaboration between public research centres and private companies in south-east of Spain. The academic side retain the ability to make basic science when, at the same time is in direct contact with the necessities of companies and markets. Research also can learn how companies works and learn valuable strategies to apply to his own work. E.g. E.E.La Mayora-CSIC (Plant Breeding and other groups) and a bunch of seeds companies in Almería-Granada area (Antonio)

C. Statistical information

(PLEASE, state the source for the statistical data and if possible an internet link)

1. Number of doctoral students 2002 – 2006

Total: (2002-2003) 72973; (2003-2004) 72439; (2004-2005) 76251; (2005-2006) 77056
Female: (2002-2003) 37236; (2003-2004) 39177; (2004-2005) 39057; (2005-2006) 39298
Foreign doctoral students (nationality and or country of birth)

And if available:

A ) the percentages of the different models of the doctorate (research assistants at university, research assistants at research institute, fellow ship holders, etc.)

B-) the percentages of the different subjects (natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, etc.)


2. Number of doctoral graduates 2002-2006

Total: (2002-2003) 7467; (2003-2004) 8176; (2004-2005) 6902; (2005-2006) 7159
Female: (2002-2003) 3387; (2003-2004) 3892; (2004-2005) 3221; (2005-2006) 3347
Foreign doctoral students (nationality and or country of birth)

And if available:

A) the percentages of the different models of the doctorate (research assistants at university, research assistants at research institute, fellow ship holders, etc.)

B-) the percentages of the different subjects (natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, etc.)


Impossible to measure due to absence of will by the government.

Part Three: The Future

1. What are the major goals your association hope to reach in the next year or two?

-Improving its internal organisation, as well, as contact with other organizations.
-Getting a compromise from the government to develop a proper research career.
-Ensuring that the Early State Researchers and postdocs rights, at least the ones shown in laws, are carried out.

2. What would be the major topics you would like Eurodoc to focus on the next years?


3. How do you see your association contributing to reaching these goals?

-Improving the way we organize the documentation and information flows within our association, using a new and more horizontal way to communicate in a new website (a la wiki way, as much as possible), using Tikiwiki CMS/Groupware (
-Trying to answer to all Eurodoc requests as far as it is possible.
-Contact with Latin American countries.
-Discussing with governments, parties and lobbies.
-Participating in I+D events.

Página última modificacion en Martes 15 de Julio, 2008 04:41:21

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