"If Europe is to be able to face the challenges of the future, then we need knowledge to move freely to where it can best be used, and that includes our researchers," said European Science and Research Commissioner, Janez Potočnik. "This huge disparity of salaries within the EU certainly distorts free movement, and also contributes to our top people seeing better opportunities elsewhere in the world. While it's not simple to isolate all the factors that lead to these differences, I would say that in some Member States, more attention needs to be given to the value society places on the people carrying out work vital to our future."
The survey "Remunerations of Researchers in the Public and Private Commercial Sectors" was carried out online and considered a researcher as a person devoting at least 50% of their time to research activities. Almost 10 000 replies were collected from researchers at various stages of their careers, in the public and private commercial sectors across the EU-25 and Associated Countries. This revealed their net (salary taken home) and gross (net plus social security cost for both employee and employer) salaries. The data were validated, analysed and the results compared to two different groups: other European professions, and researchers in Australia, China, India, Japan and the United States.
Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, the analysis reveals wide variations across countries. About half of countries present an average net remuneration in the €20 000 – €30 000 range (weighted according to purchasing power).
The difference between the remuneration of a female researcher and a male researcher is significant in most European countries. The difference is particularly marked (over 35%) in Estonia, Czech Republic, Israel and Portugal, while is considerably less (below 15%) in Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, Iceland, Malta and Norway.
Placing the EU on the global stage reveals how relatively unrewarded all of its researchers are. In 2006, the EU-25 average gross salary for researchers was almost €23 000 less than that in the US: around €40 000 compared to €63 000. Only Austria, The Netherlands and Luxembourg offer salaries similar to the level of those in the United States, as do Israel and Switzerland. Australia, India and Japan all have an average remuneration higher than the EU-25, while of the countries used as comparison, only China is below the EU average.
[ Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED ]
Figure 1 – Net yearly remuneration averages in terms of PPS (“Attractiveness” of countries).
The full report can be downloaded at: http://ec.europa.eu/eracareers/pdf/final_report.pdf