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Growth In Untenured Academic Science Jobs Seen Hurting Careers
By Franklin Hoke
The proportion of poorly paid, temporary jobs in academic science is growing, while the share of full-time, tenured positions is declining, according to researchers and observers of university employment practices. The chance that a new Ph.D. will be able to secure the permanent position that he or she may have been working toward for close to a decade is dropping every year, these sources say.
As a result, more young scientists working in universities are finding themselves in professional limbo, spending valuable early-career years waiting and hoping for a more productive research role. The non-tenure-track jobs absorbing many of these young researchers include work as part-time and adjunct instructors, laboratory research associates, or postdoctoral fellows on extended appointments.
"It's like planes waiting to land," says Ora Weisz, citing an analogy commonly...