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August 06, 2014

PostDocs in the UK: Do the University employed PostDocs have better "Output" than others, study says Yes.

Univresity PostDocs vs PostDocs in other Places (like industry, institutions and pvt labs?)

In this interesting "Exploratory" research study, carried out by PLOS One, those postdocs working in the university set up seems to have more publications or demonstrated a better out put compared to those who employed in industry or pvt labs or institutions etc., in the academic world the out put of an individual (postdoc or faculty or graduate) is mostly measured by how many papers one can publish. It is so important for PostDocs than a graduate or for that matter even for a faculty. As the faculties enjoy University job and its advantages, the PostDocs are like asylum seekers inside a faculties lab to train themselves for the future. While Faculties too must work hard and get papers in order to survive and get promotions and better salaries, it is the PostDoc who is in desperate need of papers and more papers published, and interestingly that is a good news for the faculty as they reap the benefits of having a bright and productive PostDocs in their lab increase the faculties promotion and prospects better than not having one. In simple words "The faculty gets best Bangs for their bucks hiring productive PostDocs". Anyways, this study is not about graduates or faculties, but about PostDocs who are in the university setup seems to have more output, better output than postdocs in other places. For PostDocs Paper Publications also translates better chances for future jobs, grants and tenure. The Plos One results are not surprising to me, coming from University background and considering how many paper I published quite successfully during my University PostDoc days.

 The survey of about 200 participants though a small number, but it is pretty reflective of the field, the study also found that PostDocs struggle about their future?;

Here is the Original Article and review:

Research Article

Postdoctoral Researchers in the UK: A Snapshot at Factors Affecting Their Research Output

  • Fatima M. Felisberti mail, Rebecca Sear


Postdoctoral training is a typical step in the course of an academic career, but very little is known about postdoctoral researchers (PDRs) working in the UK. This study used an online survey to explore, for the first time, relevant environmental factors which may be linked to the research output of PDRs in terms of the number of peer-reviewed articles per year of PDR employment. The findings showed reliable links between the research output and research institutions, time spent as PDR, and parental education, whereas no clear links were observed between PDRs' output and research area, nationality, gender, number of siblings, or work environment. PDRs based in universities tended to publish, on average, more than the ones based in research centres. PDRs with children tended to stay longer in postdoctoral employment than PDRs without children. Moreover, research output tended to be higher in PDRs with fathers educated at secondary or higher level. The work environment did not affect output directly, but about 1/5 of PDRs were not satisfied with their job or institutional support and about 2/3 of them perceived their job prospects as “difficult”. The results from this exploratory study raise important questions, which need to be addressed in large-scale studies in order to understand (and monitor) how PDRs' family and work environment interact with their research output—an essential step given the crucial role of PDRs in research and development in the country.

also other news quotes:

Research output higher among postdocs in universities

Plos One study also reveals that parenthood has little impact on publishing productivity
Pile of research papersPostdoctoral researchers based in universities publish more on average than those based in research centres, according to new research.
The study, published in Plos One, also found that postdoctoral researchers with children tend to have the same research output as those without children.
And the survey of around 200 postdoctoral researchers revealed that two-thirds believe that their job prospects are “difficult”.

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