Nature News&Comment (@NatureNews) May 28, 2016
Many established scientists look back on their postdoc wistfully as a time of unparallelled focus on research. Yet the postdoc now too often gives way to the ‘permadoc’. Postdocs may languish in that position for more than a decade, sometimes bouncing from one position to another. Their careers are in stasis even as their lives march on. Today’s postdocs are older than ever. They raise families and care for elderly parents. Many can hardly be considered trainees: they are functioning as lab managers or staff scientists, but are paid at a lower rate.