Europeans Who Do Postdocs Abroad Face Reentry Problems

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Science  03 Sep 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5433, pp. 1524-1526
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5433.1524

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HEIDELBERG, GERMANY, AND PARIS, FRANCE-- A stint abroad is crucial for Ph.D.s in many European countries, where a change of scenery is deemed essential for the nurturing of scientific talent. Moreover, most European countries are not strong in all scientific fields, so postdocs wanting to apprentice in the best labs often must leave their homeland to do so. In addition, many governments are reluctant to offer temporary positions with no promise of permanent employment, so in order to become academic researchers young scientists in these countries must do their postdocs abroad. Yet despite the luster that foreign travel can add to a résumé, the tight job market for researchers can make reentry difficult for even the most promising young scientists.