ECOOM UGent focuses on the people behind the research: "Human Resources in Research": who are they and how do they evolve over time. On the one hand we focus on the academic trajectory - both the doctoral trajectory itself and the further postdoctoral career -: success rates, mobility, barriers and keys to success. On the other hand, because the majority of the researchers eventually leave the university, we pay more and more attention to the monitoring of the non-academic career. The researchers and their careers are usually monitored on the basis of data specifically collected for this purpose by ECOOM UGent: via administrative databases (Human Resources in Research Flanders database), public data (PhD career track), surveys (Survey or Junior Researchers, Survey or Senior Researchers, PhD career track survey) supplemented with in-depth interviews. For some purposes, available international data sets are used, such as the European Union Labor Force Survey (EC) or the Career or Doctorate Holders Survey (OECD).
This makes it possible to make policy-supporting indicators and recommendations for the Flemish government and the universities and to contribute to the development of scientific knowledge that can also support individual decisions of the researchers regarding their career.