postdocs....

S L Forsburg forsburg at nospamsalk.edu
Mon Aug 18 10:52:06 EST 1997


I'm going to nip and tuck out of several posts here...

Aloisa said:
> The point being that the ever-growing monster that is science in the
> US has gotten to a point where it allows only those parts of itself
> with really big and successful metabolisms to survive. So if you tell
> a PI---"Be careful, do not train too many people! It is unfair to
> THEM." Aren't you then saying, "But nevertheless we expect great
> things from you personally. We expect you to do this amazing research
> on your own."

Exactly!  That's the rock-and-hard place that postdocs and junior
faculty are in
right now.  (I urge people to check out the NAS report at
http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/ynginv/contents.html
for a woeful description of the funding situation for young
investigators).
I've explained to senior people some of my troubles with funding.  They
uniformly are aghast, and say, "but that's not supposed to happen!"
No, but it DOES, and THAT'S our reality starting out now.  

Bart wrote:
> Namely, grad students are cheap labour. For many labs there is a
> diliberate effort to have a larger number of grad students doing
> research rather than employing post-docs.

Well, not exactly in the US.  These days, a graduate student plus fees
is about
the same cost as a postdoc (at least, a postdoc paid at NIH scale).
At most, there's a few thousand difference. (I'm not saying this
is right, by the way, just that it IS.)

Sarah wrote:
> So - I am really curious... do people in the field perceive that
> there has been a change? Is is worse?



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