Sunday, August 07, 2011

Lies, damn lies, and statistics

Grad students are generally less likely to want to continue in research careers as they go along; less than half of grad students are happy with their stipend; and European grad students are happier than US grad students: nature survey of 5000 grad students

For fun, you can also download the data tables.


although it is relatively easy for universities to hire people with interdisciplinary backgrounds for postdocs, it is much harder to get interdisciplinary faculty positions. That could lead scientists without a history of close affiliation with an established department to serial fellowships and postdoc limbo, or job-hunting challenges in the broader market

No kidding.

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At 6:14 PM, Blogger Kea said...

Glad to hear from you. Indeed, many funding bodies are desperate to give money to truly interdisciplinary researchers. The trouble is, as you know, that no matter how hard they try, these bodies cannot get the academic departments to cooperate, because the PIs insist on new money being associated to their own research programs. I have seen the new ERC guidelines, which look more promising, but I wouldn't be surprised if they receive few applications, because potential hosts will simply steer clear of it, unless they can get a new Mr Golden Boy with it.

In other news, have you heard that string theory is wrong? Of course, we always knew that, but the menz are having some trouble coming to grips with the fact that they told everyone it could not possibly be wrong.

At 3:52 PM, Anonymous NotAnAstrobiologist said...

Kea, you obviously have much deeper knowledge on this than most people.

But, when did we find out string theory was wrong?

At 11:42 AM, Anonymous MyEvilProfessor said...

Nice link (i.e. the Nature survey), thanks. The trend aptly describes my own Ph.D. experience.

At 1:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found out the same thing the hard way, did my share of serial postdoc fellowships and research associateships for about a decade until it was just no longer a sustainable career path. In fact, all semblance of a logical career trajectory went out the window within the first 3 years after receiving my PhD, and from then on it became just the endless pursuit of getting and trying to keep a job based on the precarious funding situation that changes like the wind. (and never mind the havoc this wrecks on your personal life)

At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where are you, YFS? We miss your voice and hope you are well. Update??


At 10:15 AM, Blogger Erin said...

I am a pre-tenure faculty member and have been writing informally about my experiences, trying to take a humorous perspective (imagine "Advice for New Faculty Members" meets David Sedaris). I am searching for other assistant and recently tenured faculty to also write about their experiences for a edited collection of essays. Have you had any humorous experiences you'd like to write about, or have already written about? Please consider contributing an abstract for consideration. The complete call for proposals is available at .

At 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you still around YFS? I gave up on science and am now trying to be a "science journalist" (LOL). I would love to profile you. What do you think??


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