The changing face of science funding

I recently re-read this interesting article in science careers (it is a little old, 2007 but still woth some valid points, see below) about alterantive careers to academia and one quote in particular struck me.

“Sensible institutes guide their postdocs to independence through stages, having them write some baby grants a year or two in and building up so they know where to go at the end of their contract,” Bothwell says. “Daft institutes don’t bother, and the postdocs arrive at the end of their contracts with no idea of where to go. They then usually leave science.”

The key thing that has changed in the current climate is that there are no/few baby grants to apply for, the problem of how one develops independance remins, however the mechainsm to do so (at least in the UK) has effectively, been removed and I would predict is most acutely felt by ambitious junoir researchers.  As previously mention in another blog post, my institution does have courses which are in place, which are useful, however its only really useful if there is avenues to gain funding.  So alternative funding stratagies are really needed.  In some future articles I will discuss what alternatives could be pursued.

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