The future of the postdoc

Posted in Life, Research on May 12th, 2015 by steve

International“By the time Sophie Thuault-Restituito reached her twelfth year as a postdoctoral fellow, she had finally had enough. She had completed her first postdoc in London, then moved to New York University (NYU) in 2004 to start a second. Eight years and two laboratories later, she was still there and still effectively a postdoc …” (more)

[Kendall Powell, Nature, 7 April]

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There is life after academia

Posted in Life on September 3rd, 2014 by steve

International“With high numbers of postdocs emerging from universities, prospective PhD students must be prepared for the fact that they will probably not end up with a career in research …” (more)

[Nature, 3 September]

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Should academics lose out financially for taking maternity leave?

Posted in Legal issues, Life on April 19th, 2014 by steve

“The risks of taking maternity leave as an early career academic are never made clear. One postdoc shares her story …” (more)

[Guardian Professional, 19 April]

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Is pressure on postdocs leading to ‘massaged’ research?

Posted in Research on March 23rd, 2014 by steve

“Academics are rated on how many publications we produce, how often we publish, and in which journals and our CVs boast of every printed word. It all amounts to one thing: publish or perish …” (more)

[Guardian, 22 March]

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Stick or twist: the postdoctoral dilemma

Posted in Life on June 21st, 2013 by steve

“One postdoc asks: is the joy of working in a research field you love worth the pressure and uncertainty of an academic career? …” (more)

[Guardian Professional, 21 June]

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If postdoctoral life is about playing by the rules, what are the rules?

Posted in Life on February 25th, 2013 by steve

“The path to academic success remains unclear to many, says Daniel Nehring. For PhD students to become credible job candidates, they need to be mentored as well as taught …” (more)

[Guardian Professional, 25 February]

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Postdocs – A voice for the voiceless

Posted in Life on September 30th, 2012 by steve

“In universities around the world, postdoctoral students are the unsung heavy lifters. Not only do they take on much of the academic load in running tutorials for undergraduates but they are also crucial in many science and engineering research programmes …” (more)

[University World News, 30 September]


Mass exodus of research graduates would provide a depressing counterpoint to our ambitions to develop a knowledge economy

Posted in Research on March 30th, 2012 by steve

“Researchers are warning of an approaching ‘perfect storm’, one that will wipe out an invaluable natural resource. Conditions are nearly right for a significant exodus of postdoctoral research fellows, driven into emigration by harsh economic winds, given the lack of secure jobs and the potential for career development abroad …” (more)

[Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 30 March]

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CVs that need plenty of research

Posted in Life on February 23rd, 2012 by steve

“Many postdoctoral applicants do themselves no favours when it comes to applying for jobs outside of the university environment. Many researchers go through their PhD and postdoctoral experience with the tacit assumption that they will continue their career in this profession …” (more)

[Conor O’Carroll, Irish Times, 23 February]

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No fixed address

Posted in Research on June 2nd, 2011 by steve

“A postdoctoral position was once the passport to a research post for life. But the inexorable growth in numbers of postdoctoral researchers means competition for academic careers is fierce. Paul Jump asks what should be done to help early career scientists looking for a lab to call home …” (more)

[Times Higher Education, 2 June]

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Career Progression and the Research Landscape

Posted in Life on May 26th, 2011 by steve

“Career progression for postdocs is a key issue that affects the health of our science base. It formed the basis for a discussion with Science Minister David Willetts at the Royal Institution this week, an event hosted by Evan Harris as ‘guest lecturer’ at the RI, and tied in with the Scienceisvital campaign, created and spearheaded by fellow Occam’s Typewriter blogger Jenny Rohn. Jenny and I joined the panel …” (more)

[Athene Donald’s Blog, 26 May]

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Plight of postdoc researchers

Posted in Governance and administration on April 6th, 2011 by steve

“Madam, – Malcolm Byrne of the Higher Education Authority (April 4th) conveniently glosses over the harsh realities of the revised Employment Control Framework for externally funded research staff. Instead he manages the impressive feat of presenting the new framework as a positive advance for contract research staff …” (more)

[John Walsh, Irish Times, 6 April]

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Plight of postdoc researchers

Posted in Governance and administration on April 4th, 2011 by steve

“Madam, – Dr John Walsh and Dr Sarah Harney (March 31st) make a number of incorrect statements concerning the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Employment Control Framework …” (more)

[Malcolm Byrne, Irish Times, 4 April]

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Plight of postdoc researchers

Posted in Governance and administration on April 2nd, 2011 by steve

“Madam, – Reading the recent correspondence on the subject of postdocs, I find myself in agreement neither with my union nor with my university. Like any senior scientist, I have both been a postdoc and have employed many postdocs …” (more)

[Paul Engel, Irish Times, 2 April]


Plight of postdoc researchers

Posted in Teaching on March 31st, 2011 by steve

“Madam, – Paddy Healy (March 29th) seems to think that third-level contract researchers are entitled to career paths into academia. This is a serious misinterpretation on the part of Mr Healy. The Irish taxpayer is not investing in developing public research in order to create a new generation of academics …” (more)

[Thomas O Brien, Irish Times, 31 March]

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Plight of postdoc researchers

Posted in Legal issues, Research on March 30th, 2011 by steve

“Madam, – In a letter on the plight of postdoctoral researchers (March 29th), Paddy Healy in his bid for Senate election blatantly misrepresents the career development for young researchers at UCD. Indeed, UCD has been to the forefront among Irish universities and has reformed the shambolic and ad hoc systems of the past to provide postdoctoral researchers with stable contracts of employment …” (more)

[Desmond Fitzgerald, Irish Times, 30 March]

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Plight of postdoc researchers

Posted in Research on March 29th, 2011 by steve

“Madam, – The vast majority of the 3,000 postdoctoral researchers in universities and other third-level institutions are employed on temporary contracts. They have less security of employment than an unskilled employee in general employment. They are conducting research at the very highest international level …” (more)

[Paddy Healy, Irish Times, 29 March]

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