Meet the New Underclass: People With Ph.D.s in Science

October 10, 2014 / Phil Lesch

October 8th, 2014

Once upon a time, newly-minted science Ph.D.s would get research jobs at a senior scientist's laboratory, to train and hone the ideas they would explore at their own labs. But now the supply of post-doctoral students is outpacing demand, creating a new, hyper-educated underclass.

It has also had the effect of turning a healthy competition for scientific resources into a frantic "hypercompetition," according to four prominent scientists who recently published a journal article, "Rescuing U.S. Biomedical Research From its Systemic Flaws." For example, only 10% of grant applications are successful compared to 30% in recent times, due to ever-increasing applications and a continual decline in funding.

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