The Romanian Young Academy (RYA) follows the example of Die Junge Akademie (German Young Academy) hosted by the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW). For its first 3 years (2020-2022), the RYA was hosted by the University of Bucharest and funded by the Stiftung Mercator (Essen, Germany). Additional funding and support was granted by the Humboldt Foundation: 1) through the financing of a Humboldt Kolleg – an international conference that officially launched the RYA in November 2020 (postponed from March 2020 due to the COVID-19 contingency); 2) through a Humboldt Alumni Award granted to the RYA director to build a scholarly network supporting the RYA.
RYA is independent with regard to the content of its academic and civic activities and, in order to avoid any local conflicts of interests in the selection of the candidates, has an international advisory board. RYA is founded and organised for the academic and civic empowerment of the early career researchers who become its members and for a constant transfer of knowledge from academia to society. The RYA members are selected through international double peer review and no supervision is imposed on their independent frontier research and civic engagement. The RYA is free to choose its modes and places of work and encourages both individual and collaborative activities. Once selected, the RYA members constitute their general assembly and elect their two co-chairs.
The two co-chairs are yearly elected by simple majority of those present (physically or online if the assembly is an online or a hybrid one) provided that at least half of the RYA members participate in the vote. The co-chairs together with the RYA director organise the annual meetings of the general assembly and supervise the initiatives and actions that are necessary for the achievement of the RYA objectives.
RYA allows researchers to be mobile and offers 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 Die Junge Akademie in Berlin, other Young Academies worldwide, and the Global Young Academy. It thus functions as an independent think tank proposing viable solutions for future public policies regarding increasingly complex problems appearing at a global scale nowadays.
- Aims and Objectives
The general aim of the RYA is to further both the academic careers and the civic action initiatives of its members and to also contribute to the development of a healthy basis for the future science, policy making and politics in Romania and elsewhere – one that is 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. RYA encourages both frontier research and various activities at the science-society interface such as science communication, science education and science-based public policies. RYA also encourages the formation of other national young academies through its regional and international collaborations.
RYA already has 33 members, selected through international double peer review, according to the financing obtained from the Stiftung Mercator (Essen, Germany) during the period 2020-2022. Provided that additional funding is obtained, the number of members will be increased. RYA addresses early career researchers within 7 years from the bestowal of their (first) PhD. The RYA members are selected for a period of three years and re-election is not possible. Members are obliged to actively participate in the RYA life and development. The applications for RYA membership can come from Romanian researchers both from within the country and from abroad or from foreign researchers who are active in research in Romania, belonging to all academic disciplines. Their research and civic action projects are related to four main 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, which are subsumed to the more general theme: Global Challenges of the 21st Century. When further financing will be obtained, new research and civic engagement themes will be introduced.
RYA members are selected by international reviewers through double peer review. The first 17 members were selected in July 2020 and the next 16 members were selected in July 2021. Depending on the additional funding obtained, the number of members will be increased.
- Research Budget
Each member receives research support of EUR 1000 per semester and also benefits of the yearly common conference budget of EUR 6000 on a competitive basis. The joint activities proposed for this common budget by groups of at least 3 members pertaining to different thematic groups will be selected by the international advisory board on the basis of their academic excellence and civic engagement and of the extent to which they are in line with the RYA aims and objectives, described at § 3.
- Rules and Regulations
The RYA members can change the rules and regulations in the present Statute provided that new funding is obtained and the general assembly votes for the changes with simple majority and only if more than half of the RYA members are present during the voting.