postdocs....

Bart Janssen bjanssen at ag.arizona.edu
Mon Aug 18 17:45:20 EST 1997


S L Forsburg wrote:

> 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.)
>

Nope you forgot benefits and overheads which are usually charged only on
salaried staff which includes post-docs but doesn't include grad
students, so a post doc on 20k adds up to closer to 35k and a grad
student on 12k plus 6k fees adds up to 18k.  Sure the numbers vary with
the particular institute but the principle is the same.  Post docs (even
at that shitty pay) cost more.

> Linden wrote:
> >  I know that people no better, and sometimes worse, than I have
> > gotten jobs I've applied for. Serendipity and who you know make a
> BIG
> > difference n this world.
>
> <snip>

> I've seen people with great "press" from
> impressed former PIs do spectacularly in the prize/job market, even
> though there's not much beef there.  People with more accomplishment
> but less clout get nudged aside.  We end up creating a monster
> that sustains itself and people like itself.  Another problem
> with the structure of science.
>
> What we lose is the quiet people, who are less interested
> in glossy journal articles than in understanding the problem.

hear hear.  The best advice I can give to a student nowadays is to do a
PhD or a post doc in the lab of a popular big name player.  Nothing else
is quite as valuable to your career not even your scientific ability.

cheers
Bart




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