EASA - ReMO Webinar: Mental Health in Academia

October 10, 2023

To mark World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2023, EASA held a webinar together with the Researcher Mental Health Observatory (ReMO) to raise awareness on mental health in academia.

ReMO is a EU-funded initiative that is building a network that advocates for healthy and sustainable working conditions in academia. In this webinar, two members of ReMO, Brian Cahill and Luisa Solms, presented ReMO and their activities, including ongoing initiatives such as the STAIRCASE survey that aims to understand the impact of working conditions on mental health and well-being in academia. Two anthropologists, members of EASA and PrecAnthro, Mariya Ivancheva and Alexandra Oancă, also took part in the discussions.

In this webinar, we discussed the ways in which universities, networks, and professional associations such as EASA could address mental wellbeing going forward. What are the institutional tools at the disposal of EASA and ReMO to pursue an anti-precarity agenda that is attuned to understanding mental health struggles and improving mental wellbeing?

The webinar was open to all anthropologists and researchers who aim to raise awareness of mental health issues and to mobilize efforts in support of mental wellbeing in anthropology, professional associations, and generally in academia.


Dr. Brian CahillDr. Brian Cahill, grant manager of the Researcher Mental Health Observatory (ReMO) at Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology
Dr. Brian Cahill works in the Learning and Skills Analytics Lab of the Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology (TIB) in Hannover as Grant Manager of the COST Action CA19117 on Researcher Mental Health Observatory (ReMO). He serves as a Member of the Governing Board of EuroScience, a Member of the Board of Directors of the SciLink Foundation and served as Chair of the Marie Curie Alumni Association from 2016 to 2018. In these roles, he engaged with early-career researchers on topics ranging from researcher career development, innovation, research funding, science communication, science policy, pension literacy, research integrity, responsible research and innovation and many more.


Dr. Mariya IvanchevaDr. Mariya Ivancheva, Senior Lecturer at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and PrecAnthro co-founder
Dr. Mariya Ivancheva is an anthropologist and sociologist of higher education and labour. Her academic and research-driven advocacy work focus on the casualisation and digitalisation of academic labour, the re/production of intersectional inequalities at universities and high-skilled labour markets, and the role of academic and student communities in broader processes of social change especially in transitions to/from socialism. She is the author of multiple peer-reviewed and book chapters, op-ed and policy reports, and has recently published the monograph The Alternative University: Lessons from Bolivarian Venezuela (Stanford University Press, 2023).


Dr. Alexandra OancăDr. Alexandra Oancă, Postdoctoral Associate at the KU Leuven, Vice-president of EASA, and PrecAnthro member
Dr. Alexandra Oancă is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the KU Leuven, Belgium, and is currently serving as the Vice-president of the EASA Executive Committee. Her research analyses discourses of expertise, and knowledge production in bureaucracies and policy networks. As a longstanding member of PrecAnthro and current member of the EASA board, Alexandra is interested in strengthening EASA's work on the theme of mental health and putting mental health and its relations to academic precarity on the agenda of the European anthropological community.


Luisa SolmsLuisa Solms, PhD Candidate at the University of Amsterdam, Co-host of the podcast PhD Unplugged, and ReMO member
Luisa Solms is a PhD Candidate at the department of Work and Organizational Psychology at the University of Amsterdam. She was also a visiting PhD student at the University of Melbourne, Department of Management and Marketing. She is a board member of the pHResh network for PhD students in the fields of Human Resource Management and Organisational Behavior and a member of the Researcher Mental Health Observatory (ReMO). Together with her sister Lara Solms, she co-hosts the podcast PhD Unplugged. In PhD Unplugged, PhD students talk to professional coaches about PhD-specific struggles and how to overcome them. The well-being and career experiences of PhD students are central themes in Luisa’s research.

The discussions will be chaired by Dr. Alexandra Oancă, Postdoctoral Associate at the KU Leuven and vice-president of the EASA Executive Committee.