Gary McDowell, 29 a Biology student reveals the cliff of PostDocs crisis, he quotes that the lab bench work and research for these PostDocs is like a "Grunt Work Force", he and other postdocs hopes this Guttural Hogs condition of postdocs changes sooner than later to avoid burnout and major crisis to the scientific research field.
The "plight of PostDocs"has become a major crisis of the Science/biomedical research field, however, where is the crux of the problem lies?. It is the academic structure itself is the basis for this terrible young scientists crisis. While the awareness about impending issue amongst the postdocs, academics and administrators is slowly picking up steam after almost a Decade of our UCONN Health Center Postdocs Unionization, the mainstream media and scientific media broadly ignored this topic. Seems like they are ready to write about it, I am hoping it is time they too come forward and participate, create and raise awareness about the plight of postdocs and that is actually the plight of our todays scientific research field. The following Boston globe "Metro" news piece seems like a step in that direction of mainstream participation.
Chart/Illustration/Pic from Boston Globe news-Link
If there is anything one can learn about the PostDocs issue, it is pretty pathetic and serious...........................Read further into this news piece to know the plights of PostDocs, read further to know what Carolyn has to say about the PostDocs Plight.
Some Quotes from this news piece: Yellow Highlighted
this is like captured from My Blogs header, but means and sounds what I meant in the headertoiling in obscurity in a low-paying scientific apprenticeship that can stretch more than a decade
How low can you equate these great makers of science and medicine, -Just a Supply vs Demand, that sucks:But in recent years, the postdoc position has become less a stepping stone and more of a holding tank.
The hero of this news piece, Gary, a Biology PostDocs says this "Some of the smartest people in Boston are caught up in an all-but-invisible crisis, mired in a biomedical underclass as federal funding for research has leveled off, leaving the supply of well-trained scientists outstripping demand.
about PostDocs, Carolyn writes, is it real or a myth?:“There’s this huge labor force here to do the bench work, the grunt work of science. But then there’s nowhere for them to go; this massive pool of postdocs that accumulates and keeps growing.”
It is Certainly true and real on the tongue and in books, or perhaps on this news piece, but not real when it comes to rewards or recognition, they are treated like some kind of "extra pair of hands"- a lab or postdoc jargon. It is not real to see the PostDocs treated and respected that way, no not at all, their screams are like Guttural....!! you heard that from Gary...remember?.they are both future leaders and the workers who carry out experiments crucial for science to advance.
Well, as a former PostDoc, an Advocate and the PostDoc Unionization Pioneer, though I moved up a million miles above the PostDoc's stage after two successful and great, productive postdoc positions and a jaunt at the Yale Medical School, I can say what Gary or other postdocs lamented in this news piece about their plight is just an understatement and it is rather dire. I wish that future leaders and experts get their share and recognition, respect in due time, not at the end of their life. The bottom line is this damn academic structure, funding and functioning of scientific research needs "Service and overhaul" without that the plights of postdocs "will never change much to the level of appreciation".
Oh I like these lines so much, this is a much needed step towards some action
they do seems like follow a "Well-Worn Pathy?--The plight of postdocs has become a point of national discussion among senior scientists, as their struggles have come to be seen as symptoms of broader problems plaguing biomedical research. After years of rapid growth, federal funding abruptly leveled off and even contracted over the last decade, leaving a glut of postdocs vying for a limited number of faculty jobs. Paradoxically, as they’ve gotten stuck, the pursuit of research breakthroughs has also become reliant on them as a cheap source of labor for senior scientists.
they are like "invisible people", but their toil and struggle in the lab for more than 40 hours get good funding and promotions for their Supervior and lab chief, but what do these little fellows get?Biomedical research training traditionally has followed a well-worn path. After college, people who want to pursue an advanced degree enroll in graduate school. The vast majority of biology graduate students then go on to do one or more postdoc positions, where they continue their training, often well into their 30s.
and how long they and how many years they toil to reach for independent research jobs? but yet the majority do not attain that target in real worldTheir progress is very poorly tracked; the leader of a national report on the state of postdocs has called them “invisible people.” The National Institutes of Health estimates there are somewhere between 37,000 and 68,000 postdocs in the country. Salaries vary, but rarely reflect their level of education. The NIH stipend ranges from $42,000 a year for a starting postdoc, up to $55,272 for a seventh year.
there is no proper teenable models, not just some but most of them are not....Their progress is very poorly tracked; the leader of a national report on the state of postdocs has called them “invisible people.” The National Institutes of Health estimates there are somewhere between 37,000 and 68,000 postdocs in the country. Salaries vary, but rarely reflect their level of education. The NIH stipend ranges from $42,000 a year for a starting postdoc, up to $55,272 for a seventh year.
sure do the senior scientists, some of them agree with this, but many are oblivious and do not care for PostDocs“Some of the models we see don’t seem tenable in the long run,” Krukenberg said.
game is changed but there is no game changer for postdocsMany senior scientists, who may fondly remember their own postdocs days, agree that laboratories have grown too bloated. As the cost of conducting research and the number of institutions doing such work have increased, science has outgrown the traditional model in which trainees are also the worker bees, they say.
I think, Casey has done something good for himself, not worrying about years of his postdoc field and experience, he found an alternative way to prosper and progress“The game is changed, and what should be a wonderful time in people’s lives is, in many cases, a time of great, great anxiety and unhappiness.”
If there is one problem amongst PostDocs, is this one. Are they brain dead or what to go caught up with this cobbled web of Postdoctoring?, why not change your aims, goals and directions, why not think out of the box, why not use your creativity for something else in this world. Instead of that futile "faculty" job or academic career?. I wish PostDocs come out of their grunt work force and use their talents. Yes, the academy is broken and useless to reform, there is no one to listen to you, look at the scientific funding, some damn representatives may fund millions and millions of dollars for worthless areas in America but they do not want to provide even basic amount of funding used to be allocated for scientific research, so what is the use in screaming, just find an alternative and use your talents. Here is a guy who did exactly that....
For Postdocs plight to change, not only reformation and changes are needed immediately, but also the postdocs instead of being caught in the vicious cycle, must think out of the box and out of the routine or out of the ordinary, do not suck into this mundane daily routines of lab work.Casey Ydenberg’s path illustrates how easy it is to follow a dream and find oneself locked in a career track without a destination.Ydenberg, 33, has an impressive resume: he earned a PhD at Princeton, then went for a postdoc at Brandeis. This summer, a decade into his training, he realized that not only were the odds of getting a faculty job against him, but he didn’t think he really wanted one. He felt burnt out.Today, Ydenberg is pursuing a job that gives him real joy, building websites. He isn’t bitter; he cherishes his memories of graduate school. But he uses none of his formal training and thinks there should be more conversations, earlier, about future careers so that people don’t spend as long honing research skills that may not prove relevant.
Glut of postdoc researchers stirs quiet crisis in science By Carolyn Y. Johnson| Globe Staff October 05, 2014
“It’s sunk in that it’s by no means guaranteed — for anyone, really — that an academic position is possible,” said Gary McDowell, 29, a biologist doing his second postdoc at Tufts University who hopes to set up his own lab in a few years. “There’s this huge labor force here to do the bench work, the grunt work of science. But then there’s nowhere for them to go; this massive pool of postdocs that accumulates and keeps growing.”