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Want to lobby your goverment to shape up the life sciences economy? Speak up!

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Re: Want to lobby your goverment to shape up the life sciences economy? Speak up!

Postby PG » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:49 pm

Since I am in Europé my views might be slightly different but I Think that most of the issues are the same over here.

The main problem I see with PhD training is that PhD students despite the changes that have been made during the last years are still considered to be cheap Labour. This leads to that many universitites has a lot of PhD students, some postdocs (especially if they come with grants from other countries) and sometimes a significant number of professors. The number of positions in the career ladder between postdoc and professorship are very few and often almost non existent.

For reasons that I dont fully understand the interest of collaborating with industry is often limited. I Believe that there is a lot of potential in increasing this type of collaborations in a way that would be beneficial for all involved parties. Taking the Company I work for as an example we do try to work actively with Universities welcoming students to do different types of Projects at the Company and we also try to show up and give information at various meetings etc organized by Universities. THis works excellent with some of the nearby Universities but for unknown reasons works very poorly with others.

In theory we could actually be able to take this type of collaborations further and I could see the possibility of Universities inviting industry staff as lecturers in their training programs. Within our area of speciality I dont think that there are many academic´scientists with a higher level of competence and having industry staff coming to the University woudl provide additional benefits for all parties involved.

Finally Before anyone complains that we are using students as free Labour I want to say that the efforts made by the Company in supervising and training students probably makes this a net loss in the short term. However we are doing this because we Believes that it provides value to everyone involved and we have frequently been able to recruit from this pool of people.

As for on the job training that someone commented on this is also something that we do work a lot with and we have examples of people who have joined us directly from school and that have been able to advance within the Company to lead research teams. Others have joined as fresh PhDs and are now managers for relatively large Groups of staff.
PG
 
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Re: Want to lobby your goverment to shape up the life sciences economy? Speak up!

Postby Nate W. » Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:55 pm

PG wrote:For reasons that I dont fully understand the interest of collaborating with industry is often limited. I Believe that there is a lot of potential in increasing this type of collaborations in a way that would be beneficial for all involved parties. Taking the Company I work for as an example we do try to work actively with Universities welcoming students to do different types of Projects at the Company and we also try to show up and give information at various meetings etc organized by Universities. THis works excellent with some of the nearby Universities but for unknown reasons works very poorly with others.

In theory we could actually be able to take this type of collaborations further and I could see the possibility of Universities inviting industry staff as lecturers in their training programs. Within our area of speciality I dont think that there are many academic´scientists with a higher level of competence and having industry staff coming to the University woudl provide additional benefits for all parties involved.



PG, it is always good to get a different perspective. I have known many great German chemists in my career. Based on my conversations, Germany has an excellent system of internships for scientists whereby they can get exposure to industry while in graduate school. It seems in the US, academics in the life sciences are opposed to this because they want to hoard the student's labor for themselves. Complicating this, many US academics are also against collaborations with industry to translate their discoveries or technology to solve problems and/or develop products. PG, I think the reason for this puzzling mindset among academics is that they are worried about conflicts of interest. I agree with you that more collaborations with the private sector, more student internships, and more injection of private capital to spin-off translational aspect of academic basic research will help create more jobs, alleviate this glut, possibly generate more money for basic research, and stimulate the economy; which federal funding also is intended to do. Federal funding spend on biomedical research has a goal to stimulate the economy but this is not happening in this country.

W/o translational aspects of basic research being addressed, we are only expanding the periodicals of University libraries. Of note, academics in engineering disciplines don't seem to have these same concerns as the biomedical crowd and often collaborate with industry as well as spin off technology. What gives PG? Good question.
Nate W.
 
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