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Fine Tuning: Stanching the British Brain Drain

One-quarter of the 200-plus UK science organizations surveyed in a recent Science Recruitment Group (SRG) study agreed that a skills shortage affects most science disciplines. UK researchers have been leaving the country for better-paid climes abroad for a number of years, although the events of Sep. 11 may prompt some to reconsider their plans. The lure of greater monetary rewards and better information technology has also resulted in the loss of science graduates. In the SRG survey, pharmaceu

Emma Mills
One-quarter of the 200-plus UK science organizations surveyed in a recent Science Recruitment Group (SRG) study agreed that a skills shortage affects most science disciplines. UK researchers have been leaving the country for better-paid climes abroad for a number of years, although the events of Sep. 11 may prompt some to reconsider their plans. The lure of greater monetary rewards and better information technology has also resulted in the loss of science graduates.

In the SRG survey, pharmaceutical and biotech companies cited the short supply of analysts as a particular problem. Typically employed on a contract basis, analysts must be graduate- or PhD-level candidates, so their shortfall suggests that the shortage of qualified British life science researchers could continue.

Science graduates may also lack the specific skills employers seek. SRG believes the gap is widening between what science industries want and what they get in respect of the availability, quantity,...

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