My answer: yes.
Nature published a very lengthy and well-written piece by Kendall Powell on the postdoctoral fellowship. If you don’t know, the next step for many Ph.D. graduates is not a tenure-track position in a university but a sort of poorly paid specialization called the postdoctoral fellowship, whose funding is often uncertain and whose length can often stretch to absurdity.
“Many postdocs move on to fulfilling careers elsewhere, but those who want to continue in research can find themselves thwarted. They end up trapped as ‘permadocs’: doing multiple postdoc terms, staying in these positions for many years and, in a small but significant proportion, never leaving them. Of the more than 40,000 US postdocs in 2013, almost 4,000 had been so for more than 6 years.”
If you are interested in learning more about the less-than-stellar side of contemporary science, I encourage you to go read the full piece…
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