Is it morally acceptable to hire postdocs?

Fatevi anche voi queste domande dai diversi 3 punti di vista:
– If you are a graduate student, ask yourself whether you really want to enter the academic track. Unless you are an A-trainer, are you willing to gamble on 3+ years of your life?
– If you are a postdoc aspiring to be a PI, how would you run your lab so that it is fair to people you hire?
– If you are a PI, do your postdocs work for the promise of a future faculty job?
– If so, do you think you are being fair to them? And given an estimate of your academic fitness from past experience, how many postdocs should you hire in the future to maintain fairness?

Thoughts For Breakfast

I have trained dozens of Postdocs. One of them even got a faculty position.Since I started interviewing for faculty jobs, I had to seriously ponder on how I would run my potential future lab. One question in particular has been bothering me quite a lot. How many postdocs (if any) should I hire? This is what I would like to discuss here today. I will be deliberately provocative, but also probably quite naïve. So please, do share your thoughts and contradict me if you think I am wrong.

There are three principal dimensions to this question. The first dimension is of course the money: if you have money, you hire people; if you don’t, you can’t. Real decisions are made along the other dimensions.

The second dimension is productivity. Research labor comes primarily in two flavors: PhD students and postdocs. (I will discuss permanent researchers below; let’s focus on students and postdocs first.) Postdocs are more productive and more independent, but are also…

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