What is the objective of this annual conference?
For seven or eight years now, all the VPs of Research and Innovation have been invited to meet to report on what has happened during the year. It is an opportunity to discuss current reforms and to exchange views on current research issues, both among ourselves and with representatives of major research organizations.
How many people participate in this event?
We had more than 180 participants which is a real success. We welcomed VPs from all over France, including Reunion Island and Polynesia. The CEOs of the main research organizations* were also present, as was Manuel Tunon de Lara, the President of France Université (formerly the Conference of University Presidents).
The R3SUP network organized its symposium the day before. Who does it bring together?
The R3SUP network brings together research administrative managers. They are the equivalent of Anne Bancel, who heads the UM's Research and Doctoral Studies Department (DRED). This network usually meets one day before or one day after and also participates in the VP Research and Innovation conference.
The organizing city changes every year, why was it interesting for the University of Montpellier to host it this year?
We have already been to Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Paris, so it was logical for Montpellier to be one of these major university cities. This underlines our attractiveness, our dynamism and our visibility in a year when the UM has embarked on major transitions. We also took advantage of the opportunity to highlight our own themes.
The theme chosen for this edition was "French research in transitions". So transitions can refer to many things, starting with the ecological transition I suppose?
The University of Montpellier being very well placed in ecology, we could not miss this dimension. Research must continue its efforts to integrate this transition into its daily life, whether it be the management of waste, consumables or fluids, the use of plastics, recycling, etc.
You were talking about current topics, what's new for this year 2021-2022?
The research landscape is in full evolution. The research programming law that was put in place by the previous government, under the mandate of Frédérique Vidal, is moving quite a bit thanks to the allocation of new resources for research. There are ongoing discussions on the role that universities should play with research organizations, there are reforms concerning the doctorate in particular, there is the appearance of junior professorships...
What does the doctoral reform consist of?
First of all, there was the revaluation of the remuneration of doctoral contracts and more recently there is a new decree which came out almost at the same time as the conference and which provides for the appearance of a doctoral contract under private law. This means that the doctorate can now be carried out in private companies. It is still a little early to talk about the modalities but we are working on it.
What are junior professorships?
These are new contracts allowing the recruitment of a teacher-researcher for a period of 3 to 6 years and who, after an evaluation, may be appointed professor.