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Soft Money's Hard Realities

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Science  22 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5487, pp. 2024-2028
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5487.2024

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"Second-class citizen" is how researchers on soft money, who have to raise their salaries from grants, describe their position--even those who like their jobs. It can be fraught with financial insecurity, disrespect, and poor facilities--as well as some advantages, such as freedom from administrative duties. Those who have done it say that success requires a strong will, an accommodating department, friends in high places, and money in the bank as a cushion--not to mention emotional security and a tough skin.