These articles were published in the second edition of the AYA magazine, in which we zoomed in on the young academic. Who are the people behind science policy? What drives them, what obstacles do they experience and what support do they need to achieve success and well-being in their careers? Rather than merely looking at academic achievements, we should be mindful of various paths to academic success and personal backgrounds, motivations and needs, to enable conditions for young academics to flourish. Such needs for support vary. Examples include conversations with peers on work-life balance and setting boundaries, having a mentor for career development advice, or having access to courses – for example on how to network.