Nature | News Feature

Young scientists under pressure: what the data show

Young researchers are having to fight harder than past generations for a smaller share of the academic pie.

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Scientists and policymakers around the world increasingly worry about the plight of young researchers in academia, and for good reason. Competition for tenure-track positions has surged, and some early-career researchers face tough odds in the quest for funding. As a result, many see lower pay-offs for their efforts in preparing and writing grant applications. Although everyone is under pressure, those just starting out seem to feel the impacts more acutely.

Source: OECD

Sources: German Research Foundation; Research Councils UK; NIH; European Research Council

Source: MRC

Source: NIH

Source: Nature Salary Survey 2016

Source: Nature Salary Survey 2016


Two researchers – separated by a couple of decades – describe their experiences of beginning a scientific career.

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