Montag, 02. Juli 2018, 09:00 - 10:00 iCal

"Today's research career"

Plenary by Ass.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Maximilian Fochler

Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Vienna

Christian-Doppler-Hörsaal an der Fakultät für Physik
Boltzmanngasse 5 / Strudlhofgasse 4, 1090 Wien


Young people considering a career in research are usually driven by some kind of passion. They may feel drawn towards the intellectual challenge of solving complex puzzles and discovering something new, they may want to produce knowledge that addresses one of the many significant challenges contemporary societies are facing, or they may have other related motivations and values they seek to realize.


To many, academia seems to be the prime place to live these dreams and visions. However, academia as a workplace has changed significantly over the last decades. These changes also create doubts and insecurity. Many aspiring researchers will ask questions such as: “Do I even stand a chance to become an academic researcher, given the competition and the small number of tenured positions? How will I have to change my life plans to be successful? If I am, is life as a tenured academic how I envision it, or is it for example constant time pressure instead of time to think and experiment? Will I be able to realize my passion at a university, given the many structural changes I keep hearing about? Is a research career in industry really as dull as many say, or is it maybe even the better place to do the kind of research I am interested in?”.


In my talk, I will address these questions. Rather than giving concrete career advice, I will review some of the most significant institutional changes in academic research over recent time and discuss how they may affect careers and research work in academia, and ultimately academics’ ability to follow their passions. I will also draw on related work analysing research work in startup companies, both as a contrast foil to some developments we can see in academia, and as a window on how research careers in non-academic institutional contexts may look like.

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Vienna Doctoral School in Physics


Christiane Maria Losert-Valiente Kroon
Fakultät für Physik