Shortage of biologists?! Need YSN contact for protest.

Jim Owens jow at helix.nih.gov
Fri May 28 11:52:07 EST 1993


>> I don't know what percentage of Ph.D. students aspire to become
>> university professors as their first choice. Given the relative
scarcity
>> of jobs in that niche, it is probably not a realistic goal for many
>> students. Scientific research is done in many settings: industry,
>> government, private research foundations, and universities, each of
which
>> have their advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, I don't think that 
>> anyone assumes that most Ph.D. students aspire, first and foremost, to
that
>> one particular niche. 
>
>Everyone that I knew in grad school and postdoc days sure did (but I'm
>getting to be a bit of an old fogey in this regards now).  Perhaps we
>might hear from some current practitioners 8-).  How many of the
>students out there decided to embark on a Ph.D. knowing ahead of time
>that they wanted a position in the commercial sector?
>
>> Given that MSc. and Ph.D programs in the sciences in North America are
>> seeing declining enrollment of domestic students, and the degrees
therefore
>> going increasingly to foreign students, it would follow that even
>> industry must be feeling some sort of pinch in domestic applicants.
>> Can you or someone else in industry tell us whether this is so? If not,
>> why not?
>
>Whenever we have had a job opening here at IG (we are NOT hiring right
>now, so please, everyone, don't send me resumes), there has been no
>shortage of applicants.  We have a bit of a hard time finding the
>right skill set because of the interdisciplinary nature of our work,
>but it always depresses me a little when I see the number of obviously
>skilled and intelligent people applying for jobs.  Despite declining
>enrollments, all of the people that have been educated over the last
>couple of decades have not rolled over and died - I suspect that many
>are working in jobs that they consider suboptimal and would like to
>switch.  Given the current recessionary environment, I don't think
>that industry can be looked to as a saviour.

For several days I have followed this thread, so I'm coming in with
snobby banners flying, i.e., this is going to be a fairly long posting.

I work at NIH in a lab that studies mostly mouse leukemias from a
molecular slant.  NIHers (in the labs as opposed to administration) have
,within the memory of our oldest people, considered themselves to be in
an academic atmosphere.  Some senior people take into their labs grad
students from the local universities, especially Univ. of Maryland,
George Washington and Georgetown Universities where some NIHers hold
adjunct professorships.  There is a formal program with Johns Hopkins
that allows grad students to do their thesis research at NIH.  There is a
one year research internship at NIH for medical school students run by
the local Howard Hughes Institute.



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