miércoles, 2 de febrero de 2011

1st General Assembly

All young researchers in Catalonia are invited on Saturday 12 February to join the 1st General Assembly, where accompanied by a good orange juice ...

- We will review the latest developments regarding our requests.
- We will inform about what is taking place right now
- We will debate what kind of future we want.

See you in the "La Rimaia" educational/alternative space (Ronda Sant Pau, 12) on saturday the 12th, 10am in the morning!

viernes, 10 de diciembre de 2010

Next meeting with DGU: everyone is invited

The next meeting between pre-docs, Directorate General of Universities (DGU) and vice chancellors of the universities in Catalonia will be held on Monday 13 December at 17:00 hours in the proceedings of the DGU.

Although only four doctoral students will participate in the meeting, all the pre-docs of Catalunya will concentrate on 13 December from 16:30 to 17:30 h at the gates of the DGU (Via Laietana, 33), to make our voices heard just as the beginning of the meeting takes place.

In order to contextualize this next meeting, the compromises that were reached in the previous session (November 4), are:

* The DGU would provide calculations of the average cost of a graduate student for college, taking into account all types of pre-docs (PhD in science, humanities, from centers outside the university , etc.).

* The DGU would answer about the possibility of consulting the budget reports and economic and social impact reports that preceed the price decree.

* The DGU would expose to the Interuniversity Council of Catalonia (which was scheduled to meet during this time between meetings with doctoral students) the pre-doc's request to modify the decree in effect by reviewing the increase in enrollment fees and instead applying the same fee as the previous year plus the corresponding increase according to the limits established by the General Conference of University Policy (1.5% -5.5%).

From all this, today doctoral students have access to the costs per pre-doc calculated by the DGU in collaboration with (available here).

Regarding the consult of the reports accompanying the decree by the pre-doc representatives, chances are they can not be consulted before the meeting takes place, as the DGU has granted the first appointment for consultation on 14 December (one day after the meeting.)

As things are, the pre-docs will attend the meeting:

* With some dubious calculations of the annual per thesis for the universities that have been prepared today and not when the decree establishing public prices was being prepared.

* With a disturbing question: If the calculations of the costs of a doctorate have been developed to date, on what is based this setting of annual registration to 400 euros ?

* Without the chance of consulting the budget reports and economic and social impact reports of Decree 98/2010.

* With the suspicion of a negative response by the Interuniversity Council of Catalonia as the possibility to modify the decree in effect.

Even so, we will attend the meeting, since by all means at our disposal, we will continue to denounce the unlawful and unjustified increase in doctoral tuition fees that has taken place this year, the situation of unfairness compared to other regions of Spain and to other universities. We will continue to denounce, in short, the most precarious situation to which this decree has brought us: the straw that finally breaks the camel.

miércoles, 24 de noviembre de 2010

Sensitizing the Doctors

Doctoral candidates of CMIMA have prepared a presentation to encourage debate within the research centers and departments and to sensitize the research doctors about the issue of fees as a "tip of  iceberg" of the deficient regulation and funding of Spanish and Catalan research.

The pre-docs have shared their presentation on THIS LINK and encourage doctoral students in all schools to use it to initiate discussions in their environments. The research population at all levels should discuss and take positions in order to make possible any serious progress  in the many aspects of research that require improvement. Otherwise, the investment that society does in research not only will remain weak, but  will become useless and eventually disappear.

Diagonal Campus Demonstrations

The local assembly of doctoral candidates of local mobilization calls Diagonal Campus stud next Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 November.

Collecting of signatures will be made, as well as distribution of leaflets, while there will be also symbollically be offered orange juice to anyone approaching, so they can get to know about the situation and collect voluntary financial contributions to the rates with a bank.

Dates and locations are:

Wednesday 25/11: Exit the metro station Palau Reial from 8:00 to 10:30 h.

Thursday 26/11: front of the building of the campus dining halls Diagonal from 13:00 to 15:00

Everyone is welcome.

To assist with the organization: HERE

Wednesday November 24 Assembly

The predoctoral collective new assembly agreed for a new assembly on next Wednesday 24/11 in class B1 of the historical building of the UB at Universitat square, at 19:00 h, with the following provisional agenda:


1. Summary of the current situation regarding the registration

- Ombudsman

- Catalan universities

- Unions (CCOO)

- Meeting with DGU and universities

2. Next Steps

- External contacts

- Appearance in the media (debates, etc.)

- Demonstrations:

- Concentrations

- Actions on college campuses

- Other suggestions?

3. Allocation of tasks to working groups.

viernes, 22 de octubre de 2010

Pictures of the protest gathering Thursday 21st of October


IMPORTANT: Next steps and Selection of representatives for discussion meeting

The protest gathering at the Biomedical Research Forum UAB-CIS has been a success for pre-doctoral researchers. Around 200 people gathered outside the hall where the event was held asking for the attention of Minister Huguet. Doctoral students were able to read the summary of the manifest and the closing of the forum was adjourned briefly so the Minister could have a first dialogue with a delegation of the demonstrators.

The demonstrators were invited to allow the completion of the act and wait outside the Casa de la Convalescència for a new dialogue with the General Director of Universities of the Generalitat, Josep Ribas, to which they agreed.

While waiting there was some open discussions among the gathered people, who later left the premises, so the delegation could hold a meeting with the General Director.
In this initial contact a commitment has been made to study the issue at a meeting specifically devoted to it, to be held on Wednesday or Thursday next week and attended by the Minister Huguet, a representative of the DGU, two vice-chancellors of Catalan universities, representing all the universities of Catalonia, and four representatives of the pre-doctoral researchers from all over Catalonia.

Researchers must now select these four representatives and prepare the agenda for the meeting, which convenes next Monday 25th of October at 19h, in front of the UB historic building's main door. D-Recerca will reserve a room for the meeting.

The objectives of this meeting are:
1. Elect four representatives to take part in the meeting next week (and
probably in the later ones).
2. Set the number of points to be addressed at that meeting and the minimum
acceptable for each point.

Each university and local entity (PCB, PRBB, Bellaterra, Vall d'Hebron, UdG, UPF, UVic, URV, etc...) has to send a delegation to represent their pre-doctoral researchers at the meeting in order to have the greatest amount of views and ideas.

The representative committee should be maintained for future development and should commit to:
1. Inform your local collective.
2. Coordinate the decision-making of the collective.
3. Represent your local collective and the whole Catalan collective in possible
future meetings.

The confirmed talks with the administration provide the opportunity for the group of Catalan doctorates to start changing the situation. The elected representatives should have perfectly clear the position and requests of their local collective, as well as the best negotiation capability with a serene, but demanding attitude.

This blog encourages pre-doctorate researchers to continue their exemplary, democratic, and respectful attitude, and to participate without ever yielding to the any demand posted by the government.

Manifest and signature campaign

Preparing and adjusting the manifest with D-recerca had the outcome of taking the long version (version A) as a basis of our opposition against the increased thesis fee and the precarious situation of the pre-doctoral scientists in Catalonia. The short version of the manifest (version B) is still available as a summary of the principal points in order to be used whenever a short version is necessary.

Both manifests are available in Catalan and Spanish. Further down on this page you can find the revised final version.

IMPORTANT: Please also visit THIS PAGE and leave you digital signature, which are being collected since yesterday. Pass on this link to fellow students, friends and family. It is not necessary that they are directly affected by the increased fee, they can just show their support by signing. Please also check that the signature is validated.

Furthermore, the different subgroups are cordially invited in the collection of signatures (not online but on paper!) in order to support the manifest. Every single subgroup should then compile the collected signatures which are all brought together afterwards.

A draft form for the collection of signatures will be available here soon!


The signatories of this manifest state that:

1. The Generalitat has increased the cost of the thesis supervision to 400 Euro (a 280% increase from previous years), which PhD students in Catalonia must pay annually to have right to undertake a PhD in the Catalan research system.

2. We understand that being research student is a professional activity, comparable to any other performed by scientist working in research as it is recognized by the European Letter for Researchers [1].

3. Those 400 Euro only make worse the precarious situation of young researchers, being an economic barrier that discourages and hinders access to the profession of scientist.

4. We recognize that the Generalitat has the right to set prices in public universities according to the Royal Decree 1393/2007, provided they are related to the cost of a service, but without upper limit and leaving it to the will of the autonomous institution to set them.

5. The explanations received by the relevant agencies (government and universities), attributing the increase of the service fees, established by Decree 98/2010 of the Generalitat, Annex 1, paragraph 4.6, do not satisfy the signatories of this manifest, as the researchers in training, like any other researcher, have the right to access all the services necessary to perform their task, and no payment for these services should be necessary.

6. These 400 Euro are an even greater outrage if we consider the reduction of 5% of salary that have undergone the PhD students of public universities, and we understand that Catalonian PhD students suffer much economic misfortune compared with other Autonomous Communities where none of these measures have been applied.

We demand:

1. The reception of a promptly and timely response in writing by the authorities of university and government.

2. The deletion of paragraph 4.6 of Annex 1 of Decree 98/2010 of the Generalitat of Catalonia which sets a price of 400 Euro for the fees for thesis supervision in a doctoral program adapted to the European Higher Education Area (EEES in Spanish).

3. Due to this exceptional situation and by decree, a suspension of the registration period for PhD programs in Catalan universities, until an agreement between the parties involved is obtained.

4. An immediate monetary reintegration of those who paid the enrollment in a PhD Program in Catalan universities.

[1] The European charter for Researcher and the code of conduct for recruitment of researchers. European Commission, 2000.

miércoles, 20 de octubre de 2010

Protest gathering Hospital de St. Pau

This Thursday, 21st of October, the “Forum de Investigacion Biomedica UAB-CEI” will be held in the “Casa de la Convalescencia” which is part of the UAB on the grounds of the Hospital de St. Pau in Barcelona. Participants are the Minister of Health of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Marina Geli) and the Minister of Innovation of Universities and Enterprises (Josep Huguet).

In order to reinforce the manifest, there will be a protest gathering from 12h to 13h which will be timed with the presence of Mr. Huguet. The assisting people are asked to wear orange clothing (the colour represents the precarious scientist). The plan is to read out loud the manifest and hand a copy to Mr. Huguet. Furthermore, a basket with oranges and a juice squeezer will be given to the Minister as representation of the current situation of the PhD students working as researchers.

Everybody willing to attend is invited to participate, preferably wearing orange clothing.

Please check back for updated time before going there.

lunes, 18 de octubre de 2010

Informative Meeting Parc Científic

There will be an informal and informative meeting on Wednesday, October 20th, opened to the whole PCB Community. It will take place at the IRB Terrace, from 10:30am. Past and future actions will be discussed, and the collection of signatures to support the Manifest will begin.

Also, there is another meeting called for tomorrow, Tuesday, at 1pm at Aula 22 of the Faculty of Biology, UB.

We hope to see you all there!

jueves, 14 de octubre de 2010

The UPF letter sent

The collective at Universitat Pompeu Fabra has finally sent today its complaint letter, which they have been preparing lately and about which this blog informed in its Spanish version -the English translation is in preparation and will be posted for the record.

A hundred and twenty seven members of the Biomedicine Doctorate Programme at UPF have adhered to the text, representing only one of the multiple research centers with an active collective opposing the rise of thesis supervision fees and other problems of predoctoral research at Catalonia.

This blog will follow closely the effects of this UPF text, which is being used as a model at many other centers and the contents of which will predictably be included in any collective complaint of predoctoral researchers as a whole.

D-Recerca gets explanations from DIUE

Here is linked the mailing list on our theme at D-Recerca, the Association of Graduate Students and Research Fellows of Catalonia. Readers are encouraged to check it and participate in its activities; it must not be forgotten that D-Recerca is the association representing most predoctoral researchers in Catalonia.

This post's highlight goes to a meeting between a representation of D-Recerca and the Generalitat de Catalunya Department for Innovation, Universities and Enterprise (DIUE) Director General, Josep Rives.

About the rise of the thesis supervision fees, the meeting report states:

The reason given to explain this rise of 300% in doctorate fees is the adaptation to the European Higher Education Area. Since this year is the first in which the Bologna Accord is implemented in studies from the first course, they have wanted to update the third degree as well. They state that this price of 400€ is to cover expenses of the supervision service and bibliographical fonts access. We complained about the supervision service being symbolic in all cases and hence it is not justifiable to charge so much money giving nothing in exchange*. We were told then that we would have to address the vice-chancellery for research at each university and demand there the services corresponding to the degree, like a better offer of teachings and advisory services.
But yes, students registered for PhD. programmes previous to the new plan will be charged just the previous fees.
Readers are encouraged to question if they use these services as predoctoral researchers, if they want to have to claim them and if they are willing to pay more today than they did yesterday for something that they have to make a claim to get improved, but mainly for something that they probably didn't ask to improve, least to become so expensive.

About what is paid in each programme, it seems that students in the DEA pathway are in a better position, although there's some contradictory information running around about this point. Any readers registered for a DEA programme and being charged the 400€ fee are welcome to report that in the comments section.

* A comment in the Spanish version reveals yet another contradiction in the explanation of the fee as covering bibliographical access and the actual reduction of bibliographical access for Spanish universities by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology in purchasing a cheaper license for ISI Web of Knowledge this year.