The 2021-2024 Swedish Research Bill
In order for Sweden to maintain its position as one of the world's leading countries for research and innovation, we need a research climate that gives employees and employers long-term incentives, stability, predictability and good conditions. This would lead to a more positive development of Swedish society, improved welfare and greater competitiveness for our corporate sector.
If researchers and university teachers do not have good conditions, good working environments and freedom to conduct their research as they see fit, any efforts to support and improve research will have little or no effect. The Research Bill needs to contain concrete proposals that create conditions for higher education institutions to be good employers. Good conditions and attractive career paths are a prerequisite for high quality education and research.
The supply of scientific competence, not only at the research level, but also professional scientists in industry, the state sector and civil society, is a crucial factor for Sweden's success. Similarly, research and education in the natural sciences are essential for the future of Sweden and for the future of the entire world.
The challenges we face in healthcare, resistance to antibiotics, food production, new fuels, environment and climate, forestry and agriculture require much greater investment in the future. Natural scientists have a crucial role to play in addressing these challenges and in meeting the Agenda 2030 and global sustainability goals. In order to enable Sweden's research policy to meet both national and global challenges, huge investment in the quality of science education and the supply of qualified and competent natural scientists is required.
Naturvetarna, the Swedish Association of Professional Scientists, believes that the government's proposals in the Research Bill must:
- Reduce the number of fixed-term employment contracts
- Remove the possibility for employers use multiple consecutive fixed-term employment contracts
- Improve working conditions for researchers, reinforce the long-term perspective of research and ensure stable support for basic research
- Safeguard Sweden's attractiveness as a research and innovation nation and as a destination for foreign investment in research and development
- Improve interaction with Swedish society and expand researchers' career opportunities
- Improve the infrastructure of scientific research