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Political Scientist Adina Akbik Joins Young Academy Leiden

Adina Akbik has been appointed as a new member of the Young Academy Leiden (YAL) as of 1 September 2024. Akbik is Senior Assistant Professor of European Politics at Leiden University. YAL serves as a platform for early career academics, and Akbik is keen to promote the needs and interests of young researchers at the university.

A platform for early-career scholars

The Young Academy Leiden is a select group of young academics at Leiden University, founded in early 2019. YAL serves as a platform to bring together enthusiastic and driven early-career (post-PhD) researchers from diverse fields, fostering collaboration and innovation. YAL members represent a variety of scientific and scholarly disciplines from all faculties of Leiden University. The organisation's mission centres around three pillars: interdisciplinarity, science and education policy, and outreach. YAL mainly focuses on promoting academic excellence, providing professional development opportunities, and advocating for policies that support the next generation of scholars. More information about their mission and activities can be found here.

To shape policy and engage in outreach

Akbik explains that her enthusiasm for joining YAL stems from her interdisciplinary background in policy studies and a desire to shape policy and engage in outreach. As a public policy scholar with experience advising governments and EU institutions, Akbik has worked at the intersection of Political Science, Law, and Public Administration. This interdisciplinary approach aligns well with YAL's mission.

As a member of the Institute of Political Science staff council, Akbik actively collects and conveys the concerns of assistant professors about new developments affecting them. ‘I see YAL as an extension of my role on the Institute Council, offering me the opportunity to discuss education policy at university level,’ she explains. Akbik is particularly focused on issues like the expected de-internationalization of Dutch higher education and the diversification of academic job profiles.

Portret Adina Akbik
Dr. Adina Akbik

Outreach initiatives

In addition to discussing academic policies, Akbik is eager to contribute to YAL’s outreach initiatives, aiming to connect academics with society. ‘In my experience advising public institutions, the hardest part for an early-career researcher is to build a network of stakeholders in their respective field of study.’ To address this issue, she thinks about organising seminars or workshops in collaboration with alumni from public and private sectors. Akbik is also interested in citizen science projects, where the public participates directly in data collection. ‘Outreach is not only about presenting research findings to society, but also about encouraging the public to be an active part of it,’ Akbik adds. This vision aligns with YAL’s goals of promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and societal engagement.

(Banner: Patricia Nauta)

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