Accepted paper:

Modes of female academic migration - case of young scientists


Paweł Witanowski (Jagiellonian University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper discusses the modes of female migration in academia and negotiations of forms of their realisations. It draws from multi-sited research among young scientists mainly in fields of physics and mathematics.

Paper long abstract:

After graduating from doctoral studies all new Ph.D. face difficult decision to be made. Those, who wish to continue career inside academia usually need to apply on postdoctoral researcher positions to high number of different universities or research institutes. Given that there are not so many positions opened each year, candidates cannot limit applications only to home university or those within one country. That perspective of not always willing migration is a major decision making factor and leads to disturbance of sense of stability - even if sometimes valorized as a chance to gain experience, social status or professional development. Since young academics have little control on the final destination of their migration and the fact, that it is usually short-termed with a concrete ending date I argue that it differs from other forms of professional migrations. Moreover some disciplines of science, especially physics and mathematics, are usually seen as highly masculine. Some institutes wish to change that by introducing gender equality practices both changing recruitment practices and day-to-day work. On the other hand there are still present some traditional ways of seeing female's role in society, that may not be fit for academic life. These facts add another layers and contexts, that influence females negotiations and strategies of ways to achieve certain stability in migration and academy. In my talk I would like to present aspects of female academic migration, on the basis of multi-sited research, conducted in Kraków, London, Stockholm and Zurich.

panel P071
Facts, myths and multi-realities on female migration