"Do you have any advice for future graduate students?" I asked. The student had recently defended his Ph.D., and I was conducting an exit interview-something I do with every graduating biomedical Ph.D. student at my university, where I am in charge of evaluating our medical school's Ph.D. training programs. He sat back in his chair and thought for a minute before responding: He wished he had started to plan for his post-Ph.D. career earlier. My shoulders dropped and I let out a sigh. "Program directors recommend this to incoming students every year, but some don't seem to hear it," I said. "How do you think we can get them to listen?" This time, he didn't hesitate. "They are graduate students in science ," he exclaimed. "Show them the data!" > "Even when you're just getting started, you need to look forward." That was my aha moment. I immediately began to document the responses to this question in subsequent interviews. It has been 3 years now, and the data I've collected confirm my suspicions-the same answers come up again and again. As a new cohort of Ph.D. students starts grad school this fall, here are the five pieces of advice graduates offer most frequently. Thirty-two percent of graduating students said this is the most critical decision a Ph.D. student can make. Many students gravitate toward mentors who work in areas they find interesting and exciting, but it is also important to think about what style of mentoring you respond to best. Finding a mentor with the right mentoring approach for you is at least as important as finding one who studies a specific topic. You need time to (a) decide which career paths you find appealing and (b) start preparing for those careers. Twenty percent of graduating students recommended exploring future careers as early as possible so you can use your time in grad school to build additional skills you will need. To learn about specific professions, you can conduct informational interviews, attend seminars where alumni discuss their careers, do an internship, or engage in a variety of other options. Graduate school is full of ups and downs. Thirteen percent of graduates said that if you feel the need to talk to someone on or off campus, don't hesitate. "If you are not happy, try to do something about it and make a change," one student said. If you feel isolated, another student recommended joining a campus group to connect with others. Twelve percent of graduates recommended that students consistently and critically evaluate their progress throughout their training. Make an outline of your research and career goals and when you want to achieve them, and hold yourself to that plan. Some students use an individual development plan to prompt discussions with their mentor and thesis committee. But don't wait for these meetings; setting goals and holding yourself accountable should be a continuous habit. This looks different for different people, but don't ignore it. You should expect to work hard in grad school, but the right work-life balance can have an important influence on your mental health and overall quality of life. Nine percent of graduates recommended finding something that helps you unwind, such as pursuing hobbies, getting together with friends, or volunteering in the community. Observant readers may notice that the numbers above only add up to 86%. Other pieces of advice included be assertive and ask for what you need, learn to trust your experimental results as long as the controls work, and plan your projects around what's needed for a publishable paper. But the most important thing is to take these pointers to heart early on. Even when you're just getting started, you need to look forward.
Career Funding: the Researcher's Overall Performance Counts
The SNSF has adopted the DORA recommendations in its career funding schemes and adapted some other criteria. This will make the selection process even fairer and more inclusive of re-searchers with diverse career paths.
Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration and Scholarly Independence in Multidisciplinary Learning Environments at Doctoral Level and Beyond
The aim of this study is to investigate how patterns of collaboration and scholarly independence are related to early stage researchers' development in two multidisciplinary learning environments at a Swedish university. .
Systematic Inequality and Hierarchy in Faculty Hiring Networks
The faculty job market plays a fundamental role in shaping research priorities, educational outcomes, and career trajectories among scientists and institutions. However, a quantitative understanding of faculty hiring as a system is lacking. Using a simple technique to extract the institutional prestige ranking that best explains an observed faculty hiring network-who hires whose graduates as faculty-we present and analyze comprehensive placement data on nearly 19,000 regular faculty in three disparate disciplines. Across disciplines, we find that faculty hiring follows a common and steeply hierarchical structure that reflects profound social inequality. Furthermore, doctoral prestige alone better predicts ultimate placement than a U.S. News & World Report rank, women generally place worse than men, and increased institutional prestige leads to increased faculty production, better faculty placement, and a more influential position within the discipline. These results advance our ability to quantify the influence of prestige in academia and shed new light on the academic system.
The Precarious Position of Postdocs During COVID-19
Postdoctoral researchers play a crucial role in many research groups, serving as mentors, teachers, and leaders as they develop their skills and prepare for scientific careers. However, the coronavirus disease crisis has put funding and support for postdoc positions at risk, threatening to upend the career paths available to these junior scientists.
Graduate students at the University of California, Santa Cruz, shut down campus Thursday as part of their ongoing strike for a cost of living adjustment, and all other system campuses saw their own one-day protests. Santa Cruz graduate assistants went on a grade strike in December, then a full labor strike this month. Tensions mounted last week when the university fired or disqualified 80-some grads from spring assistantships for continuing to withhold undergraduate grades. Graduate assistants blocked all entrances to the Santa Cruz campus before dawn, forcing the university to cancel classes, except those offered online. Many faculty and undergraduate supporters joined the picket lines on that campus and across the UC system starting midmorning. As of last week, graduate assistants at the Santa Barbara campus are also on a labor strike for a COLA, and assistants at the Davis campus are on a grade strike. Systemwide, graduate instructors make about $2,400 pre-tax, per month, for nine months out of the year. Strikers say that they need between $1,400 and $1,800 extra per month to be able to secure housing in California's expensive rental markets and have anything left over for utilities and food. The United Auto Workers, with which UC's graduate workers are affiliated, has urged the university to reopen their contract to bargain for a COLA. This week it authorized a systemwide strike vote for April on the grounds that the university has committed unfair labor practices. The university has filed a similar claim against graduate workers. The system said in a statement that it "values all our graduate students, including academic student employees (ASEs) who are essential to UC's teaching mission, supporting the university as teaching assistants, readers and tutors. However, that mission is in jeopardy when ASEs refuse to fulfill their teaching obligations." The system noted that these assistants are striking in violation of their union contract, negotiated in 2018, and said it's "unfortunate that the UAW has resorted to announcing a strike authorization vote as the university continues pursuing opportunities to engage productively with graduate students on housing affordability and other issues."
Doctors and Postdocs in Political Science in Switzerland. A Study Conducted by the Swiss Political Science Association.
This report shows the results of a survey conducted in spring 2019 among all people who received a PhD in political science from a Swiss university during the last eleven years (2008 to 2018) and among postdocs working in a Swiss university in June 2019. Thus, this survey sheds light on the experiences and career paths of both postdocs and doctors in political science who left academia. Moreover, it compares the results regarding postdocs with a similar study carried out in 2012.
Academic systems rely on the existence of a supply of "outsiders" ready to forgo wages and employment security in exchange for the prospect of uncertain security, prestige, freedom and reasonably high salaries that tenured positions entail.