Contractual errors 1

August 25, 2006

Elizabeth Barlow is indeed one of the lucky ones ("Life for PhD students is on the up", August 11). The Roberts review may have benefited researchers in the sciences and engineering and social sciences, but what about humanities doctorate holders?

I have a PhD in English language and postdoc opportunities in my field are scarce and usually low paid. When my fixed-term senior researcher contract ended I was faced with the options of either working for the same or lower salary or changing direction altogether. I chose the second, going on with my research and building up a publications record in my spare time.

Maybe UK universities should stop offering humanities research degrees altogether as no effort is made to motivate and retain humanities PhDs with decent salaries.

Dimitra Koutsantoni. City University

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