Being a postdoc can be bloody hard. Not knwoing what will be next and
whether there will even be a next job is probably the most depressing
thing. Funding is never easily obtained even though postdocs are the
backbone of research these days. It seems that the number of PhDs
continues to increase, whereas the faculty positions for us to go into
have not. link
I think that a revolution in the way academia is run is desperatly needed.
First, I would suggest that some security is provided to postdocs, by
that I mean a salary provided by the government so that postdocs can
continue working until they are awarded a grant or fellowship. This
would save us from claiming unemployment and at the same time give us
the financial support we need to continue our work.
Secondly, the countries like France that force postdocs to go abroad
should provide garanties for reentries to their homeland link
Thirdly, most importantly we need to be listened to. For that I
suggest that we form a postdoc union so that we can collectively
bargain for issues specific to postdocs. The postdocs at the
University of Connecticut Health Center have already gained status as
both employees and trainees as well as improved pay and benefits link
If a union of european postdocs (Europan Postdoctoral Association)
could be built, we might improve our plight.
I am really interested in knowing of anybody you feels the same way
and anybody you knows about setting up such a union.