I was contacted a few weeks ago by Together Science Can , a campaign aiming at supporting international collaborations in Science, to share my views on academic travel with kids. 

In the article, “The Travel Dilemma: Stories From Parents and Carers in Research”, I share my personal experience about traveling with kids during my PhD for international conferences and collaborations, and mention the page on my website, #academicmum , where I list conferences and funding agencies supporting child care. Two other mums also share their stories about the difficulties of traveling with children, for conferences as well as for longer appointments. 

This article followed a recent survey on mobility in science, showing that international movement positively and importantly impacts researchers’ careers, but that costs of relocation and short-term travels and family obligations are major obstacles to academic mobility, disproportionately so for younger researchers, and with varying levels of supports in different regions of the world. 

What I like about this project is that it not only identifies current needs and obstacles to academic mobility, it also focuses on potential solutions for all scientists. The recent blog post describing recent reports on caregivers in academia is a great example of this, with the following very strong conclusion:

” A range of initiatives which are run by organisations and individuals to facilitate the mobility of carers, from offering ‘care bursaries’ to circulating information in advance and running events during standard working hours. While carers may sometimes benefit from policies which address their ‘specific’ needs, tackling the issues they face will not happen unless we revisit policies which assume that academics are care-free and organise more care-friendly events and mobility schemes.”