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Postdocs and Career Outcomes of Biomedical PhDs COSEPUP Ad-Hoc Committee on Postdocs December 13, 2011 Shulamit Kahn, Boston University Donna K. Ginther,

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Presentation on theme: "Postdocs and Career Outcomes of Biomedical PhDs COSEPUP Ad-Hoc Committee on Postdocs December 13, 2011 Shulamit Kahn, Boston University Donna K. Ginther,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Postdocs and Career Outcomes of Biomedical PhDs COSEPUP Ad-Hoc Committee on Postdocs December 13, 2011 Shulamit Kahn, Boston University Donna K. Ginther, University of Kansas This research has been funded by NIH grant R01-AG

2 Notes about the Data: The following results are preliminary and should not be cited without permission from the authors. The use of NSF data does not imply NSF endorsement of the research, research methods, or conclusions contained in this report. 2

3 Outline Trends in the percent of PhDs starting in a postdoc and duration of postdocs. The factors affecting whether the person starts in a postdoc. Impacts of postdocs on career sector and salaries 10 and 15 years post-PhD. Summary of findings. 3

4 Data and Measurement of Who is in a Postdoc Longitudinal NSF Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR) merged with NSF Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) of all PhDs. Only has US trained PhDs. A person is considered in a Postdoc each year if so indicated by any of these 3 ways: 1.Each SDR asks if person is presently in a postdoc. 2.SED asks if person is in, has contracted for or is in negotiation for a specific postdoc and 2006 SDR asks retrospectively about past postdocs. 4

5 Trends in the Percent of PhDs Starting in a Postdoc 5 Since 1980, the average likelihood of taking a postdoc has little trend.

6 Trends in the Percent of PhDs Starting in a Postdoc by Gender 6 Differences in the likelihood of postdocs by gender are not large or consistent, and are insignificant (.002) with controls.

7 7 Even being a temporary resident only increases the likelihood of a postdoc by 10 out of 65 percentage points. (Note: 19% are temporary residents.)

8 Fields with more postdocs Fields where postdocs are more likely (top 10): genetics developmental biology biochemistry molecular biology immunology cellular biology endocrinologybiophysics microbiologyneuroscience → Fewer alternatives to academia? →7 are in the top 10 fields of %PhDs NIH funds as postdocs 8

9 Fields with fewer postdocs Fields where postdocs are less likely: biometrics/statspharmaceutical science nursingrehabilitation kinesiologyhealth science,other public health environmental health veterinary medicinehealth sciences general → More alternatives? → 9 are in the bottom 10 fields of %PhDs NIH funds as postdocs 9

10 Average Duration of Postdocs 10 The average duration has not changed significantly since 1980.

11 11 Most postdocs last 1-4 years (with 3-4 years the most common). The percentage of postdocs in long-term postdocs averages 13% but it has decreased slightly for post-1993 PhDs.

12 Who are the long term post-docs? 14% are temporary residents. 18% are Asians. Less likely to have had children or be married at PhD → Lower motivation to leave postdoc cocoon? Not from lower prestige universities. Less likely to be MDs. → MDs have more alternatives. 12

13 Percent in Sector (excludes long duration postdocs) Years Post-PhD15 Years Post-PhD TT Top University doing Research5.34% 47.24% TT res only: 24.20% 5.38% 46.20% TT res only: 23.13% TT Other Academia doing Research7.99%7.45% Non-TT Academia doing Research exc. Med. 4.80%3.54% Academia Non-research8.15%10.06% TT Medical School doing Research10.87%10.30% Non-TT Medical School doing Research7.07%5.67% Medical School Non-research3.02%3.80% Business/Industry doing Research16.77% 32.78% 14.94% 33.81% Business/Industry Non-Research16.01%18.87% Govt/Nonprofits doing Research7.63% 15.76% 7.38% 15.46% Govt/Nonprofits Non-research6.87%6.66% Unemployed1.26% 5.48% 1.42% 5.97% Out of the Labor Force4.22%4.55% Larger changes from 10 to 15 years are bolded. Note only 24% likelihood of a TT academic job (13% of a top/Med.sch. one)

14 Impact of Postdocs on Later Careers In what follows, we exclude long-term postdocs. We divide in sectors and into whether or not they are doing (some) research. All of these results are holding constant other variables including field, year of PhD, whether an MD, race, prestige of PhD univ., and whether at time of PhD they were a temp.resident, had children, were married. These independent variables somewhat control for the fact that people who go into postdocs are different than those who don’t. Nevertheless, these are associations, not truly causal “impacts.” 14

15 15 Top half of graph are research jobs – Postdocs increase likelihood of these, especially TT academic jobs doing research (avg impact 14 pct.pts)

16 16 Negative impact of postdocs on non-research jobs in business is smaller – Scientists become managers.

17 Impact of Postdocs on Academic Tenure-Track (TT) Jobs Controlling for background characteristics, Postdocs increase the chance by 14 pct pts that PhDs are in TT jobs doing research (out of 24% in sector). Postdocs increase the chance of being in a top R1 or medical school much more for men than women. 59% of those in a top-tier/medical school TT research job are in fields with low likelihoods of starting in a postdoc. Many of the rest are in fields with higher than average likelihoods of starting in a postdoc. 17

18 18 Path of salaries in TT academia has the same relationship v. years from PhD whether or not you started in a postdoc.

19 19 Path of salaries in TT medical school academia doing research is much higher for those who did not start in a postdoc. Average difference 8-15 years post-PhD is $18,700 (2005$) or 22%.

20 Impact of Postdocs on Academic Non-TT Jobs Doing Research 10 years later, 7.1% of PhDs are in medical schools non-TT jobs doing research and 4.8% of PhDs are in other non-TT academic jobs doing research. These are “soft-money” jobs! Postdocs increase your chances by 2.6% in med schools and by 2.0% in other academia of being in this kind of job. 20

21 21 Path of salaries in non-TT academia doing research are considerably higher ($10,400 (2005$), 15% of income) for those who did not start in a postdoc.

22 Impact of Postdocs on Business/Industry Jobs (non-MD’S) 29.6% of PhDs (non-MDs) are in the business sector 10 years later. Postdocs decrease the likelihood of being in this sector by 10.4 percentage pts. But postdocs basically do not change the likelihood of being in a business research job. On average, postdocs decrease salary in a business job – by more than $16,000 (2005$) on average 8-15 years post-PhD (or 16% of the average salary). We find 1 year experience in business is worth 1.7% more than elsewhere. Over the avg 3.4 postdoc yrs, this leads to 5.9% lower salary – the remaining 10% is not due to experience! 22

23 23 Postdocs decrease the likelihood of being in business by 10 percentage pts. Path of salaries of the 30% in the business sector are considerably higher (> $16,000 or 16% of income) for those who did not start in a postdoc. We find 1 year experience in business is worth 1.7% more than in a postdoc and that this explains less than half of the had-postdoc-or-didn’t gap.

24 24 Path of salaries in the ~14% in a govt/mil/nonprofit job are considerably higher (> $ 13,750 or 16% of income) for those who did not start in a postdoc. Postdocs have virtually no effect on being in this sector,

25 Other Impacts of Postdocs 9.9% of women PhDs are out of the labor force 10 years after the PhD. Postdocs decrease the likelihood of women being out of the labor force by 13.6 percentage points. → Do women with high career commitment to science choose postdoc? Or do postdocs discourage women from continuing to work? 25

26 Summary of Major Findings Those who start their post-PhD careers in postdocs are more likely to later find a TT academic job doing research; and generally more likely to engage in research even outside of academia. (Postdocs help women less than men to get top TT academic research jobs.) → Postdocs help scientists “win” the tournament if these jobs are the ultimate prize. But there aren’t so many of these jobs and they don’t pay very well. 26

27 Summary of Major Findings Outside of TT academia (non-medical school), people who had post-docs make -16% to -22% lower salaries 10 yrs later. The average duration of postdocs has changed little since years is most common. There remains a stubborn 11% still in a postdoc 7–8 years post-PhD but it has decreased slightly since 1993 PhDs. 27

28 Plans for further research Can we know whether postdocs cause these things or if the inherent differences between those who choose postdocs & don’t (selection) is causing this? Do people leave science because of postdocs? Are long duration postdocs the same as soft-money non-tenure-track research positions in universities? Multiple postdocs – When are they used and by whom? How do postdocs impact women’s careers differently from men’s, and how do postdocs interact with family choices? 28

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