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The Black Hole

Quarterly summary: Postdoc survey released!


Last week was the culmination of an incredible amount of volunteer labour through the CAPS-ACSP group who produced their 2013 Survey of Canadian Postdoctoral Scholars. Done in collaboration with Mitacs, a not-for-profit group aimed at facilitating the transition from academia to industry, the survey emphasizes the need for urgent action at universities and research institutes in order for Canada to remain competitive on the world stage.

Many articles have been written already about the survey, including great pieces from University Affairs’ Leo Charbonneau and Beryl Lieff Benderly at Science, highlighting administrative ambiguity, poor remuneration and benefits, and low access to career development training.

Over the coming months, we will be using this survey data to take a more in-depth look at some of the key issues and to compare the situation of early career researchers in Canada to other countries – we hope you will enjoy this series and our proposed solutions. As part of a panel at this year’s Canadian Science Policy Conference, I have organized a panel discussion that will feature a presentation of this survey data alongside comments from leading researchers, non-profits and  government members. It is entitled Training the Next Generation of Scientists and should produce some excellent discussion on this topic and these new data.

Guest Post: Dr. Eddy Kent



Other activity

Dave continued to write for the Signals blog with:


Our guest blogger, Dr. Eddy Kent attracted some stories of frustration with SSHRC’s new policy on fellowships. The article on student and postdoc outcomes made the rounds on reddit with a long list of comments around whether or not such statistics would provide a valuable resource for prospective trainees.

It’s an incredibly busy autumn, but as always I encourage people to consider writing on the issues they feel most passionately about, the Black Hole is a forum for discussion and the proposal of solutions to the problems in training early career researchers.  Email us at [email protected] if you are keen.

David Kent
Dr. David Kent is a principal investigator at the York Biomedical Research Institute at the University of York, York, UK. He trained at Western University and the University of British Columbia before spending 10 years at the University of Cambridge, UK where he ran his research group until 2019. His laboratory's research focuses on the fundamental biology of blood stem cells and how changes in their regulation lead to cancers. David has a long history of public engagement and outreach including the creation of The Black Hole in 2009.
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