our new doctoral school course is open for registrations!

Each year we organize an interuniversity doctoral school course on what it means to be a researcher in 21st century academia. We are especially proud to present the 9th edition! This edition will take place on 5, 11 and 12 May 2023.

A detailed program and more information can be found on the course website and of course on the Slow Science website.  

PhD students can obtain credits from the doctoral training programs of UGent, UAntwerp, VUB, KU Leuven, UCLouvain, and UHasselt, but we also welcome postdoctoral researchers and other university and university colleges staff. Note that there is a maximum capacity of 30 people, so don’t wait to get involved!

Feel free to spread the message and hopefully see you soon!

21st Century Slow Science Academics Collective

General description

Over the past few years, numerous scholars and university personnel have expressed concerns about research deontology and ethics, increasing publication pressure, mental well-being and the changing professional environment in which academics have to work. The urgency of these concerns was recently recognized by the Flemish government in its coalition agreement: “Research shows that the mental well-being of students in higher education, including PhD students, is under pressure. Special attention is paid to this.” In response, Belgian universities have expressed an interest in raising awareness among the academic population and pointed to the Doctoral Schools as a way of accomplishing this.

This course is an initiative of the ‘21st century slow science academics’ collective that aims to raise awareness and understanding of the structural causes of the challenges facing young researchers, and help them think about ways in which they can contribute themselves to improving the state of academia. In addition to considering the mental well-being of PhD students, the course also addresses the conditions in which researchers work today, which not only affect mental health, but also raise questions about quality, ethics, deontology, norms, conducting research itself and the relationship between science and society/democracy in general. 

The introductory morning aims to encourage participants to discuss and reflect on their own experiences as young researchers, and on the broader social, political and economic context of research. The first thematic session focuses on raising awareness for mental health. The following session focuses on knowledge production. The third session centres on a hands-on approach to tackling issues related to labour at the university, and what specific actions are undertaken within universities to improve people’s working conditions. During the afternoon of that day, participants are encouraged to use the critical insights from the previous sessions to arrive at concrete actions. The last session provides the opportunity to reflect on the entire course.