Defining employees

Journal name:
Nature
Volume:
486,
Page:
149
Date published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/nj7401-149c
Published online

Classifying PhD candidates as employees preserves their rights and benefits.

Doctoral candidates should be considered employees, not students, argues the European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (Eurodoc) in Brussels. According to the council's 17 May statement, PhD candidates' access to benefits and training is jeopardized if they are not designated as employees. In some cases, PhD trainees cannot access their institution's intranet and research databases, notes Zaza Nadja Lee Hansen, Eurodoc's career development workgroup coordinator. Universities in some European countries consider PhD candidates neither students nor employees, Hansen says, but adds that other nations, including Germany and Austria, recognize them as university employees.

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