YAE 2020: Message from the Chair

What a year – not even talking about events outside the YAE! We saw several major changes, such as officially becoming a registered charity and soon an employer. You may have noticed that our website and communications have improved vastly, in large part due to help from the AE Cardiff Knowledge Hub.

Our column in Nature Careers attracted a lot of attention. The article, titled ‘I’ll work on it over the weekend’: high workload and other pressures faced by early-career researchers, identified the main sources of stress for young academics. We are already thinking about a follow-up next year, which will again need the input of our members.

After our elections during our Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Barcelona in October, we have a new and very diverse Board! Our focus for next year will be on recruitment, increasing participation, and rewards and recognition for academics.

We also received two grants this year, a COST Network on science communication and a H2020-SwafS proposal on gender equality in research and innovation, both topics of high relevance for our members. The latter means we will have some resources for personnel, and we will post more details shortly.

Have a look below at the list of activities we have organised or participated in this year. All members are welcome to participate in, suggest and organise events. Please do send us your ideas and suggestions! For example, what would you like to see at our AGM? What topics should we focus on? How can we better help you? On our side, we are looking for volunteers to host local chapter meetings and perhaps an interdisciplinary academic symposium.

Finally, I would like to thank all our members, collaborators (AE, Eurodoc, MCAA, and other Young Academies), and especially our previous and current Board members for their contributions and hard work.

On behalf of the YAE, I wish you a wonderful holiday season and an awesome new year!

– Mangala Srinivas, YAE Chair


The YAE fully supports our members from the UK, regardless of whatever happens with Brexit. In the case of the UK leaving the EU without an Association agreement with Horizon 2020, UK-based researchers would formally no longer be eligible for YAE membership. Thus we will need to adjust our bylaws to officially allow this, with further details to follow soon. New members from the UK will always remain welcome in the YAE.

YAE membership term extension

The results of our membership vote are in, and 91% of those voting agreed with the suggestion to automatically extend membership to 7 years (unless an individual opts out). In addition, extensions due to parental leave during the membership term will also be made possible.

All current members will have their membership terms extended automatically (unless you decide otherwise). All new members will automatically have a 7-year term. We hope this change will allow members more time to participate in our activities and benefit from membership!

Upcoming deadlines

Consultation on Plan S “transformative journals”

Following our close policy collaboration with MCAA and Eurodoc on Plan S (see our statements here), we are joining a cOAlition S taskforce to monitor its effects on early-career researchers. This will allow us to provide immediate feedback and to minimize any adverse effects on our members. 

Within this context, the implementation of Plan S aims to develop a framework for ‘transformative journals’, and cOAlition S is now seeking input from the community on this draft framework. The consultation is open until 6 January 2020, 09:00 CET at:

SAPEA call for experts: Biodegradability of plastics

The SAPEA (Science for Evidence for Policy by European Academies) consortium is calling for nominations for a working group, which will conduct an evidence review on Biodegradability of plastics in the open environment.

If you are geographically located in Europe, submit a short CV (no longer than 2 pages) and a short explanation on how your experience meets the specific areas of expertise needed listed in Annex 3 by 7 January 2020, 8:00 UTC to:

2020 YAE Andre Mischke Prize for Science and Policy

Please nominate candidates for our next annual YAE Prize! Candidates must be contributing actively to science policy, with this year’s exceptional winner profiled on our website. Note that you do not need to be a YAE member to nominate. Please send nominations by 20 January 2020 to:

Competition on ideas for a Sustainable Tomorrow

Die Junge Akademie has organised an online competition on climate change and sustainability for 2020, with prize money of up to 2,000 Euros. The competition Visions / Solutions for a sustainable tomorrow is not only aimed at people from all walks of life in Germany, but also to people across Europe and the rest of the world. Submissions close on 31 March 2020 at:

Recent activities

European Gender Summit (Amsterdam)

The European Gender Summit, attended by YAE Chair Mangala Srinivas and held on 3-4 October 2019, was characterized by interesting presentations and discussions, important questions and passion for the subject: more diversity and inclusion in the academic world. The final report has been written and sent to the European Commission and the European Parliament.

You will find the videos and powerpoint presentations of the speakers, as well as photos, on the Gender Summit website. You can also watch the after movie, in which various speakers and guests answer the question why more diversity matters.

AE-YAE Open Science event (Leuven)

An international symposium on the impact of Plan S, organised by the AE Cardiff Knowledge Hub with the YAE and the KU Leuven Libraries, took place in Leuven on 6 November 2019. The symposium was dedicated to assessing the impact of Plan S on a range of stakeholders, including early-career researchers, research-intensive institutions, societies and publishers. The event concluded with a look at the future prospects for Open Access publishing and Plan S.

Speakers included the Chair and Vice-Chair of the YAE, and representatives of Eurodoc and the MCAA. For further detail, the event programme and slides are available at: http://aecardiffknowledgehub.wales/2019/11/14/impact-plan-s/

VSNU & EUA Conference on Recognition & Rewards (Rotterdam)

The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) and the European University Association (EUA) organized a conference on recognition and rewards for researchers on 13 Nov 2019 in Rotterdam. The Chair of the YAE, Mangala Srinivas, participated in a panel discussion during the plenary session at this meeting. A recording of the plenary session is available online.

Universities in the Netherlands, as well as across Europe, are committed to changing the way academics are recognised and rewarded. Academics will be assessed on their impact, both in research and in teaching, rather than simply publications and impact factors. This will be implemented by 2021.

This initiative was led by Rianne Letschert, a former recipient of the YAE prize. The position paper from this event, signed by all the major funding bodies and universities in the NL, is available online:

List of activities in 2019

Major activities

• Screening of movie “Paywall” and Plan S discussion (14.2., Nice, Toma)

• Feedback session on Plan S implementation at Science Europe (19.2., Brussels, Toma)

• Elsevier webcast on OA publishing (21.2., Amsterdam, Sylvestre)

• Registration as Charity (25.2., Munich, Board)

• ECR meeting with GYA/RS/BA (1.3., London, Kate & Yan)

• British Parliament session (12.3., London, Gemma)

• AE Tbilisi Knowledge Hub opening (22.-27.4., Tbilisi, Mangala & Toma) 

• ALLEA25 year celebrations (9.5., Bern, Toma)

• Meeting of Young Academies (17-18.5., Helsinki, Yan)

• Member survey published in Nature Careers (19.6., Toma & Mangala)

• EU Research and Innovation Days (24.-26.9., Brussels, Toma)

• Royal Society – Government Office for Science workshop (2.10., London, Gemma)

• COST Action kick-off (2.10., Brussels, Mangala)

• 17th Gender Summit (3.-4.10., Amsterdam, Mangala)

• Kick-off Young Science and Engineering Network (10.10., Groningen, Marcel)

• Open Science meeting with AE/Uni Leuven (6.11., Leuven, Mangala & Toma)

• H2020 CALIPER project on gender equality in research and innovation

• VSNU-EUA plenary session on Rewards and Recognition (8.11., Amsterdam, Mangala)

Statements and open letters

• Statement on Implementation of Plan S (with Eurodoc and MCAA, Jan 2019)

• EC consultation ‘Future of scholarly publishing and scholarly communication’ (May 2019)

• #EUInvestInKnowledge campaign (with Eurodoc & MCAA, Sep 2019)

• Open letter to new EU Commissioners (with ISE, Sep 2019)

• Horizon 2020 budget campaign (with ISE, Nov 2019)

• Young Academy Statement on Core Principles (with GYA; Nov 2019)

19th December 2019. For further information please contact info@yacadeuro.org

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