Navigating treacherous waters: Exploring the dual career experiences of European Research Council applicants

Schels, Brigitte, Connolly, Sara ORCID:, Fuchs, Stefan, Herschberg, Channah and Vinkenburg, Claartje J. (2024) Navigating treacherous waters: Exploring the dual career experiences of European Research Council applicants. Soziale Welt, 26 (Special Edition). pp. 341-371. ISSN 0038-6073

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Careers of scientists do not operate in a social vacuum. According to the concept of linked lives (Moen, 2003), the career of one partner has implications for the career of the other. We explore the experiences of navigating dual careers for a sample of scientists who applied for an European Research Council (ERC) grant using a quantitative survey and qualitative interviews. While the notion of an ideal scientist is built on an individualistic model of unrestricted international mobility and dedication, our quantitative analysis shows that the majority of ERC applicants have an employed partner, often also a scientist, and children. About the same number of men ERC applicants with a working partner say that their career is more important or that both careers are equally important. The number rating both careers as equally important is higher among women ERC applicants. In both constellations, the scientists experience difficulties in coordinating and combining dual careers. This is evident for established researchers as well as for scientists who are in the “rush hour” of life. From the scientists’ lived experiences it becomes evident that the ERC applicants want to comply with the notion of the “ideal” scientist but face limitations especially when mobility opportunities are constrained by the portability of the partners’ careers. Dual career cycling dilemmas are raised by mobility events, often resulting in priority shifts through a competing rather than synchronic process. These dilemmas arise for men scientists and women scientists, but some of the consequences - where and with whom the children live and who has primary care responsibilities - are quite gendered.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: linked lives,dual career couples,scientific career paths,international mobility,academic couples,europe,2*,this is a good 2* paper,mixed methods analysis of dual career academics ,/dk/atira/pure/researchoutput/REFrank/2_
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > Norwich Business School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Centres > Institute for Volunteering Research
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Employment Systems and Institutions
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Centre for Research on Children and Families
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2022 12:31
Last Modified: 08 May 2024 15:30
DOI: 10.5771/9783748925590


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