This week Nature has a number of editorials, commentaries, and news features examining graduate education and postdoctoral training. They are all extremely interesting and make TONS of good points!
My favorite, in part because I am living it, is a piece by Jessica Polka (@jessicapolka) and Viviane Callier (@vcallier)- Fellowships are the future. I have to be honest, I could not agree more with this article… even if I wrote it myself. A must READ!!
If postdocs receive greater independence, PIs will lose some control, so they may have to find other resources to conduct their research. But this could be good for science: having postdocs strike out away from the beaten path will bring fresh ideas and approaches to the table. For both of us, getting a fellowship enabled us to cut a path that was separate from the dominant research area in each of our mentors’ labs. The experience of trying to define a new scientific direction has been most useful for us, even as our paths diverge.
Next an editorial – Make the Most of PhDs – highlights the need for graduate education reform, for the good of science and graduates.
The number of people with science doctorates is rapidly increasing, but there are not enough academic jobs for them all. Graduate programmes should be reformed to meet students’ needs.
Last, Julie Gould’s news feature – How to build a better PhD – addresses the problems in scientific graduate education and how to improve it to build better PhDs.