Postdocs, please go away

Back in 1973, when Julia Goodfellow finished her PhD at Britain's Open University, like many of her peers, she jumped on a plane to California to take up the de rigueur three-year overseas postdoc.

Stephen Pincock
Mar 13, 2005

Back in 1973, when Julia Goodfellow finished her PhD at Britain's Open University, like many of her peers, she jumped on a plane to California to take up the de rigueur three-year overseas postdoc.

After her stateside sojourn in the chemistry department at Stanford University, she returned to the UK to work as a researcher and then member of staff in the Department of Crystallography at London's Birk-beck College, where she stayed for more than 20 years before joining the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council in 2002.

Now, as the head of that government body, responsible for an annual research portfolio worth more than £260 million, the contacts and collaborations Goodfellow established in the US remain important to her and her work. So when the UK's Biochemical Society determined recently that fewer new PhD graduates were working overseas, she found it a worrying sign.

Each year, the society conducts...

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