Changing postdoctoral career patterns for biomedical scientists

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Science  03 Nov 1978:
Vol. 202, Issue 4367, pp. 487-493
DOI: 10.1126/science.705338


Between 1973 and 1977 the total number of Ph.D.'s holding postdoctoral appointments in the biomedical sciences increased at a rate of more than 550 individuals (12.5 percent) per year. During this same period the total number of doctorates awarded each year in these disciplines showed very little change. The postdoctoral growth can be attributed to substantial increases in both the numbers of recent graduates taking postdoctorals and the length of stay on these appointments. The lack of alternative employment opportunities has contributed heavily to the postdoctoral buildup. Continued growth is likely to have important consequences for biomedical research and research training.