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UK postdocs eye contract changes

New rules ensuring more long-term employment are due to come into force in July; the country?s first national postdoc body is formed

Stephen Pincock
Britain's postdoctoral researchers are watching closely to see how universities implement European Union laws designed to help employees obtain open-ended contracts, postdoc leaders have told The Scientist. However, some say they do not have high hopes."It's going to be an interesting summer," Paul Andrews, a cell biologist who co-chairs the School of Life Sciences Postdoc Association at the University of Dundee, told The Scientist. "It is a great unknown at the moment because every university seems to have a subtly different approach" to increasing open-ended contracts, he added.Due to come into force on July 10, the new laws are supposed to ensure that staff members are moved into open-ended contracts after serving on fixed-term contracts for four years.Despite the supposed benefits of the new law, some postdocs fear it could have a negative effect on their careers, Andrews noted. "Speaking to postdocs at other universities," he said, "it...

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