The Romanian Young Academy (RYA) follows the example of the Junge Akademie (German Young Academy) hosted by the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW). RYA will thus offer financial and logistic support to Romanian outstanding early-career researchers from both within the country and from abroad and to foreign researchers who are active in research in Romania in an attempt to empower them to make a difference in both frontier research and civic engagement through a constant transfer of knowledge from academia to society. It will also function as an independent think tank proposing viable solutions for future public policies regarding increasingly complex problems appearing at a global scale, such as the present COVID-19 contingency. It will be a flexible platform for both individual and collaborative independent interdisciplinary research and civic action. It will allow researchers to be mobile and will offer them numerous networking possibilities all over the world through close contacts with RYA’s own network of advisers and reviewers and with both peers and senior academics from the Junge Akademie in Berlin, other Young Academies worldwide, and the Global Young Academy.
Our general aim is to contribute to the development of a healthy basis for the future science, policy making and politics in Romania and elsewhere – one that will be based on excellence in research and civic action, interdisciplinarity, fair competition, academic and civic integrity, broad-minded and inclusive views, and regional and international collaboration. For that, we will encourage both frontier research and various activities at the science-society interface such as science communication, science education and science-based public policies. Besides supporting a steady and integrated research career development for its members, RYA will also attempt to make them aware of the necessity of coordinated civic action towards better policies at a national and international level and to support them in their future endeavours in this respect. While working together, the RYA members will thus learn to make a step forward from our everyday criticism of the existing situations towards a more positive and forward looking attitude, which would generate future viable solutions for our presently criticised situations. RYA will also encourage the formation of other national young academies through the regional collaboration with colleagues from Bulgaria, for instance.
For its first three years, the Romanian Young Academy will be funded by Stiftung Mercator and hosted by the University of Bucharest. The initiator, fundraiser and director of the RYA, who obtained the Mercator research grant supporting it, is Dr Diana Stanciu, a mid-career associate researcher at the University of Bucharest and presently a Gerda Henkel Research Fellow at the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (BBAW). As a former Humboldt fellow, Dr Stanciu also received funding from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, through the Humboldt Alumni Award networking initiative, to build a wide international and interdisciplinary, academic and civic network supporting the RYA members. Dr Stanciu also received funding from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for the Humboldt Kolleg, the international interdisciplinary conference officially launching the RYA on 18-22 November 2020. In order to supplement the present funding, Dr Stanciu will also apply for European Commission Marie Curie – COFUND support.