In a recent article in Chemistry World, the declining support for PhD and Postdocs was highlighted. The explanation given is that this is a result of “changes to the way research costs are calculated”.

Can’t argue with that, but it is also true that if PhD/Postdocs were all that valuable, industry would fund them regardless. The truth about chemistry degrees, at least in England, is that they are all about sticking to the recipe given out by the lecturer. “Experiments” consist of following a procedure to the letter. Whilst this is a valuable skill to have, these are not “experiments” at all. In fact they are anti-experiments because should you deviate from the plan given to you, your grades will fall. If you do not *think* or question a procedure, you will get straight As.

Given that it is the straight A students who are likely to go on and do Phds/postdocs, these qualities will persist at this level, and industry is right to be unimpressed by this, since they are all about the ability to think and innovate.

Vested interest: I only got a 2.2 so maybe I would say this ;)

Stumble it!

One Response to “Industry right not to support PhDs”

  1. Mitch says:

    Industry is about thinking and innovating and not following standard procedures? I never heard anyone ever say that before.

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