The emotional roller coaster of building a Career in Science

September 6, 2020 12:00 - 1:30

Location: Virtual Room 2


Higher education is recognised as a pressurised environment for researchers. University policy makers across Europe have increasingly put the issue of wellbeing and mental health on their policy radar. Psychological wellbeing in young scientists can be adversely affected by a variety of emotional factors, including the supervisory relationship, role conflict, isolation, feelings of inadequacy, and career uncertainty. Our session will address the major emotional challenges faced by students and early career researchers, and offer a variety of viewpoints to promote psychological wellbeing in researchers to equip young scientists with the tools needed to tackle mental health difficulties.
We will organise a highly interactive session focused on the question: what support is available to young researchers? Our speakers, including a psychotherapist, a group leader, a consultant and a journalist, will discuss the need for mental health services to be widely available and for comprehensive training for supervisors to assist young scientists facing mental health issues.
Our session will build on a novel cross-cutting approach which combines semi-structured interviews to our speakers with the use of online tools to favour an open, yet anonymous, exchange of ideas. Mental health-related tweets and comics strips will be distributed during the session to prompt discussion. A space for dialogue between the audience and the speakers will then emerge, with attendees encouraged to share personal examples.
Our programme will offer a unique opportunity to interweave a range of perspectives aimed at exploring several mental health tools accessible to young researchers to develop resilience and wellbeing.
The reciprocity of experience, narratives and research and the diversity and multidisciplinarity of our speakers will allow us to develop a better understanding of which factors contribute to psychological distress and how to adapt and cope with them.

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