Julia Frugoli jfrugoli at
Mon Aug 7 15:41:04 EST 2000

>For postdoc fellowships in my field, I have seen advertized stipends
>between $18,000 and $45,000.  Naturally the richer fellowships are
>extremely competitive and, all else being equal, an older applicant is
>less competitive.  

Why is an older applicant less competitive?  Because he or she is more
stable and settled in life?  I know several PIs who would consider an older
applicant more competitive because they are less likely to have very small
children or become pregnant during the (hopefully) narrow window of research
time a postdoc position allows. It's not that I think older postdocs are
better-I just don't see any reason why they're worse. 

And I second the lack of universal ageism.  It probably exists, but I
haven't found it, though I was afraid of it.  Thinking about it these past
few days, I have the best of all worlds.  I'm starting a faculty position as
my children have gone off to college (the youngest is a senior in high
school) and so at the time I need most to concentrate on "work", I have
it-the concept of empty nest syndrome just passed me by.  People who use age
as a criterion, just as people who use sex as a criterion, are shorting
themselves-a lot of talent doesn't fit neatly into the pigeon hole of a
conventional academic career framework.

Julia Frugoli
Department of Plant Pathology & Microbiology
Texas A&M University
Norman E.Borlaug Center for Southern Crop Improvement 
2123 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843
phone 979-862-3495
FAX 979-862-4790

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