RYA addresses early career researchers within 7 years from the bestowal of their PhD. They can come from all disciplines and can apply on the basis of their personal research projects. Interdisciplinary projects and projects that can also lead to new policy proposals through a transfer of knowledge from academia to society are preferred. After being selected and becoming RYA members, the early career researchers are financially and logistically supported to also develop collaborative projects with a marked civic component. 

The RYA support consists primarily in helping researchers work at high international standards, in an interdisciplinary environment, network and encounter national and international mediators and role models in both science and politics who could both help them open new paths in their independent careers and support them in applying their original ideas to specific civic action and policy advice. 

RYA also acts as a platform of discussion to raise the general public awareness that science is addressing increasingly complex problems, which require policy advice and policy making on an increasingly global scale and that young researchers are part of this process and can face this challenge. RYA is open to Romanian researchers from both within the country and from abroad. It thus tries to facilitate an interchange between these two types of Romanian researchers. 

The main RYA short-term goals are: 

  1. to endorse excellence both as the main criterion for the selection of the RYA members and in their own work; 
  2. to foster early career independence for young scientists by operating independently from government authorities, funding sources, and businesses;
  3. to encourage interdisciplinary work for broad-minded solutions to the complex problems our society is confronted with;
  4. to initiate activities at the science-society interface such as science communication, science education and related science-based public policies;
  5. to generally facilitate the transfer of knowledge from academia to society and to encourage and support civic action of the best young academics in Romania.

Related to these, there are also a few long-term goals:

  1. to support a steady and integrated career development for the selected early career researchers through supporting further networking and collaborations as well as participation in future RYA events (also after they become RYA alumni);
  2. to promote regional and international collaboration – through the international board of advisers and reviewers and the international collaborations with other national Young Academies and the Global Young Academy;
  3. to encourage the formation of other national young academies through regional and international collaborations;
  4. to ensure a healthy basis for the future science, policy making and politics in Romania – one that will be based on excellence in research, interdisciplinarity, academic integrity, fair competition, broad-minded and inclusive views as well as constant civic action and involvement in the improvement of the existing public policies.

In tune with the latest developments not only at a national, but also international level, the selected projects are related to the general theme: ‘Global Challenges of the 21st Century’, with 4 sub-themes: 

  1. Technological development and human health/ quality of life
  2. Climate change and environmental sustainability; 
  3. Democracy and social cohesion;
  4. Cultural heritage and sustainable development

RYA has 33 members now. Each of them is a member of the RYA for 3 years. Provided we obtain more funding, we will select more members soon. The selection is made by an international jury through double peer-review. After several years, according to the model of Die Junge Akademie and in tune with the decisions of the RYA members, the selection may be made in turn: by an international jury in the odd years and by the RYA members themselves in the even years. The RYA members would thus contribute to the development of their own research and civic action network so that they can eventually become an independent intellectual community in a few years.

While the RYA members presently come from Bucharest, Iasi and Cluj, they are not be obliged to reside in any of these cities, but they have to attend (either in person or online) the two regular meetings scheduled each semester, in which the entire members’ assembly is present. This is mandatory for the good functioning of the RYA. These two regular meetings will consist of workshops, conferences, lectures, poster sessions, meetings with academics, policy makers, and media specialists, civic action initiatives, or other such academic, outreach, and networking events. 

Owing to the Stiftung Mercator funding, each RYA member received until now research support of Eur 1000/ semester. There was also funding of up to Eur 6000 per year available for common projects (primarily conferences) developed by a minimum of 3 RYA members pertaining to different theme groups. These funds were obtained on a competitive basis. We continue to apply for funding and we hope to soon select new members and to also offer new possibilities of funding - primarily for open-access publications.