Academy of Young Researchers established

The first meeting of the Academy of Young Researchers (FKA) – a scientific body organized from below, which works in line with the MTA’s public tasks – took place on 7 May 2019. The FKA’s primary objectives are to work in cooperation with the Academy’s bodies and to represent young Hungarian researchers both in Hungary and at the international level. The new organization wishes to promote young researcher’s professional development and strengthen the links between scientists and society.

The story of the Academy of Young Researchers began three years ago, in the summer of 2016. Preparatory work was launched at that time, as a result of which the first Forum of Young Researchers took place during the 188th General Assembly. The participants could share their opinions and make suggestions concerning the situation of young researchers working in different fields of study.

Click on the image for further pictures Credit: / Tamás Szigeti

The Forum of Young Researchers, which was also a part of László Lovász’s second presidential program, contributed considerably to the execution of the first comprehensive survey in Hungary that analyzed the situation of young researchers under 45. The most important results of the analysis of the questionnaires filled out by 1760 people were the following. Young people choosing a scientific career are motivated by the excitement of discovery and scientific devotion. However, in order to prevent large numbers of researchers from leaving the scientific field, it would be necessary to raise wages further, to expand sources for research and to develop infrastructure.

Credit: Tamás Szigeti

During the Forum of Young Researchers, the preparatory work for the establishment of the “Academy of Young People” was launched. In May 2018, academician Mihály Pósfai, the president of the ad hoc committee established by László Lovász, presented a proposal regarding the constitution of the organization called “Academy of Young People” at the time. László Lovász told the participants of the Forum of Young Researchers that all bodies of the MTA agreed to the establishment of the new organization. He also added that an organization of this kind can serve as an important resource for the whole of Hungarian scientific life.

The aims of the Academy of Young Researchers are to:

  • promote scientific excellence,
  • develop talents, mentoring,
  • represent the unique interests of Hungarian young researchers,
  • minimize inequalities between scientific careers,
  • help strengthen the ties between young people, the MTA, researchers and society,
  • popularize science.

As it was declared during the first meeting of the Academy of Young Researchers, the organization will have 60 members maximum, who must be under the age of 40 – for people with young children, the age limit is 45 – and should have a PhD and be a member of the MTA’s public body. The main criteria for selection are scientific excellence and the activity planned. The Academy of Young Researchers wishes to have a balanced membership regarding gender, scientific fields and geographical regions. New members are elected each year by members of the FKA.