What do Postdocs & PhDs want?

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Are you looking to hire a PhD expert? Be it a job that needs extensive literature reviews to be done or statistical analysis to be conducted, there was probably never a better time to begin scouting for the best talent available. If you’re struggling with data analysis, need tips on your experimental design, or want to consult a scientist on something you’re stuck with – there’s plenty of high-quality talent up for taking.

The number of science postdocs in the US increased 150% in just the two years between 2000 and 2012. In fact, graduates across streams have only been increasing over the years. However, only a small percentage of these graduates actually land tenure track positions. With very few alternatives on the horizon, most graduates end up doing one postdoc after another. So much so that of the 40,000 US postdocs in 2013, almost 4,000 had been so for more than 6 years!

Tenure track positions

In an article on the future of postdocs, Nature asked its readers about possible solutions for the perennial problem of too many postdocs and too few permanent academic positions. The image below is a screenshot taken after the number of votes exceeded 25,000. The result clearly highlights the pressing problem faced by postdocs across the board – the need for job security! An overwhelming three out of every four researchers voted that creating more staff scientist positions with better pay and job security was the best solution for the problem.

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An interesting point to note here is that this not only lays bare the lack of job security among postdocs but also the desire to stay within the realm of research. The bottom line is that most scientists get into research and want to stay put for the love of science and research and for the accruing benefits to humanity. The sad part is that many promising researchers are forced to look for avenues outside academia for the sheer reason that they need something more dependable to be able to pay their bills.

How can the industry change this? Please provide your suggestions in the comments section below.

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Minhaj manages operations at Kolabtree

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