In the third episode of this seven-part Working Scientist podcast series about freedom and safety in science, researchers in Nigeria, Venezuela and Ukraine describe what it is like to live and work in struggling economies.

Ismardo Bonalde currently earns around US$500 a month in his role as an experimental physicist and superconductivity researcher at the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research in Parroquia Macarao, but at times it has dropped to $15 in a country where inflation was 234% last year, down from 686% the previous year. His lab closed in 2017 after research funding dried up, he tells Adam Levy.

Emmanuel Unuabonah describes the impact of power outages, equipment shortages and brain drains in Nigeria, where he works as a material chemist at Redeemer’s University in Akoda. “I tell my students I have become a hunter,” he says. “I hunt for grants.”

Finally, Nana Voitenko describes how the COVID-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine, where she works as a neuroscientist at Kiev Academic University, has wiped out economic gains made after Ukraine gained independence from Soviet Russia in 1991.

The first six episodes in this seven-part series conclude with a follow-up sponsored slot from the International Science Council about how it is exploring freedom, responsibility and safety in science.