Invisible researchers in the knowledge society – the Uberisation of scientific work in Portugal

TítuloInvisible researchers in the knowledge society – the Uberisation of scientific work in Portugal
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsCarvalho, T, Diogo, S, Vilhena, B
JournalEuropean Journal of Higher Education
Date Published03 Aug 2022
Palavras-chaveacademics, Projectification of science, Researchers, scientific work, Uberisation

This paper discusses how the emergence and assumption of the knowledge society as an ideological integration in the European Union (EU) and in the European Research Area (ERA), along with Managerialism and Neoliberalism influences, resulted in precarious and insecure employment relations in the Portuguese scientific system. The knowledge society as a policy idea and discourse has been encouraging the European states to design political initiatives to foster Innovation and Research to promote economic prosperity and social advancement. As a result of Europeanisation policies aiming at fostering Science and Technology (S&T), there has been a significant increase in the number of PhD graduates. Drawing on a quantitative study based on the data analysis of secondary data, this study shows how the design of knowledge society policies transformed a higher education and research system and induced an increasing number of doctorates, leading, along with managerialism and neoliberalism to the Uberisation of their working conditions. These doctorates have been mainly integrated into the higher education system with short-term contracts to develop tasks within research projects. This association with research projects along with their precarious working conditions turned them into invisible workers inside Higher Education Institutions (HEI), questioning the sustainability of the system.


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