The 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 will be preferred. After being selected and becoming RYA members, the early career researchers will be financially and logistically supported to also develop collaborative projects with a marked civic component.
The RYA support will consist 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.
The RYA will also act 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. The RYA will be open to Romanian researchers from both within the country and from abroad. It will thus try to facilitate an interchange between these two types of Romanian researchers.
The main RYA short-term goals are:
- to endorse excellence both as the main criterion for the selection of the RYA members and in their own work;
- to foster early career independence for young scientists by operating independently from government authorities, funding sources, and businesses;
- to encourage interdisciplinary work for broad-minded solutions to the complex problems our society is confronted with;
- to initiate activities at the science-society interface such as science communication, science education and related science-based public policies;
- 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:
- to support a steady and integrated career development for the early career researchers selected in the programme through supporting further networking and collaborations as well as participation in future RYA events (also after they become RYA alumni) as well as in events organised by the University of Bucharest, the hosting legal entity;
- 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;
- to encourage the formation of other national young academies through the regional collaboration with colleagues from Bulgaria;
- 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, for the first three years, the selected projects will be related to the general theme: ‘Global Challenges of the 21st Century’, with 3 sub-themes:
- Technological development and human health/ quality of life
- Climate change and environmental sustainability;
- Democracy and social cohesion
The initial interdisciplinary group will comprise of 20 members. Each of them will be a member of the RYA for 3 years. 10 more members will be selected each year. For the first three years, the selection will be made by an international jury through double peer-review. After three years, according to the model of the 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 will 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 will not be obliged to reside in Bucharest, the two regular meetings scheduled each semester, in which the entire members’ assembly will be present, are mandatory for the good functioning of the RYA. These two regular meetings will last for 2 days each and 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. RYA members outside Bucharest will be supported in finding suitable accommodation if needed.
Owing to the Stiftung Mercator funding, each RYA member will receive research support of Eur 1000/ per semester. There will also be funding of up to Eur 6000 per year available for common projects developed by a minimum of 3 RYA members pertaining to different theme groups. These funds will be obtained on a competitive basis. In September 2020, once the first members are selected, Dr Stanciu will apply for additional funding with the European Commission – through the Marie Curie COFUND scheme. This will hopefully increase the funding and will offer the opportunity to develop new projects. The RYA members themselves will be encouraged to come up with suggestions and solutions for the development of their independent community. In this respect, they will receive advice, upon request, from specialists working for the Humboldt Foundation and the DAAD.