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.
Little is known about the long-term effects of early-career setback. Here, the authors compare junior scientists who were awarded a NIH grant to those with similar track records, who were not, and find that individuals with the early setback systematically performed better in the longer term.
Early Coauthorship with Top Scientists Predicts Success in Academic Careers
By examining publication records of scientists from four disciplines, the authors show that coauthoring a paper with a top-cited scientist early in one's career predicts lasting increases in career success, especially for researchers affiliated with less prestigious institutions.
Graduate Students Protest Trump Labor Board's Proposal to Exempt Them from Definition of "Employee"
Graduate students said their schools would have no reason to bargain with them over wages, health care and other compensation items if they aren't considered employees under the National Labor Relations Act.
Funders and Journals, Not Students, Should Lead on Standards for Research Rigour
The efforts of young researchers to fight the perverse incentives that dominate science right now are all the more impressive because these scientists are at the most vulnerable point of their careers.