20 Nov 2017 |
Research article |
Scientific Research Assistance
Next Generation of Researchers – 2017 Edition
The Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas) and the Fonds de recherche du Québec hosted the fifth edition of the Journées de la relève en recherche (J2R) on September 21 and 22, 2017, at INRS, at ENAP and at TELUQ University in Quebec City
One hundred and fifty graduate students as well as postdoctoral researchers from all Quebec universities participated in the many training sessions, conferences, discussions, and consultations offered during these two days. Two graduate students from the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) in Montreal, Mohamad Nassar and Marouane Mouatassim, were among the participants. Participants highlighted their research projects while networking with other researchers and facilitators.
What Does the Future Hold After Graduation?
The Comité intersectoriel étudiant (student intersectorial committee – CIÉ) of the Fonds de recherche du Québec released the results of a student survey on the prospects of professional integration among graduate and postgraduate students. Thirty-nine percent of the 291 respondents were considering pursuing a university career (as professors) while 51% were planning to pursue a career in research but outside of the academic environment.
During the CIÉ consultation, participants discussed the next generation’s obstacles to professional integration outside the university:
- Lack of professional training (non-university internships);
- Difficulty for foreign students to get scholarships;
- Government budget cuts recently made to scholarships that could have facilitated the hiring of graduate students.
Participants in the consultation also shared their university experience that had favoured their professional integration:
- Support of thesis directors in obtaining an internship;
- Participation in networking events.
The consultation workshops resulted in several proposals, for example:
- Workshops to improve networking techniques;
- A weekend event to encourage and support students in starting a business.
Key Points of the Workshops
1 Successful curriculum vitae and job interview
Employers often look for candidates who have teamwork skills. For example, during an interview, they could ask candidates to give an actual example of leadership or to explain how they would handle a conflict between two people. In addition, participants’ curriculum vitae should describe the added value they would bring to the position offered.
2 Research globalization and student mobility
A presenter from Université Laval demonstrated the importance of mobility to better stand out in the research market. An official from Campus France in Quebec presented the various mobility programs in France and the formalities in obtaining student visas for that country. I was personally invited by Campus France to talk about my various research experiences abroad.
3 Best practises and potential pitfalls in the scientific publication process
Lessons learned during the workshop:
- When discussing the research approach, link the different ideas, show the relevance of the subject and demonstrate the originality of the research;
- When discussing methodology, explain the chosen methodology and the data collection processes used.
I wish to thank ÉTS for the opportunity to participate in the Journées de la relève en recherche. This event will allow me to improve my research skills. I recommend it, as well as any other ACFAS event, to all student researchers. I now understand the importance of popularizing research work to better communicate it to a wider audience and to facilitate networking with researchers from different field.