Pia Lentini on the view from young Australian scientists.

Pia Lentini

The gist of the Forum was that frankly, the situation for young scientists in Australia is pretty dire. Here are some themes that came up time and time again (these do not necessarily reflect my views, just what I was hearing at the Forum. If you were there and think that I got it wrong, feel free to comment).

Job security: Young researchers (who aren’t teachers/lecturers) can expect to wait until they’re about 50 to get a permanent position, if they’re lucky. In the meantime, they jump between 1-5 year contracts, and spend the last 6 months of those contracts trying to get their hands on the next pot of money to keep them going. And you have to work bloody hard to get that next pot of money, because there is nowhere near enough to go around and funding is very very competitive.

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