Non-medical scientists sucked into industry

March 10, 1995

Medical research departments are failing to keep hold of non-medical scientists because of their severe lack of career structure, the committee heard, writes Aisling Irwin.

Post-doctoral basic scientists who work in clinical departments have no bridges to a full university lectureship, said the Association of Young Medical Scientists. As a result the scientists frequently leave their research groups or are sucked into industry, said Peter Mathieson, clinician scientist at Cambridge University.

Krish Chatterjee, senior clinical research fellow at Cambridge, said: "Many of us have graduate students working in our groups but it's very difficult to see where they go from there. It's a matter of serious concern. The danger is that many of us are going to rely for ever on graduate students and doctoral fellows who will get trained to a certain level and then leave."

Dr Mathieson said: "Clinical research depends very highly on basic science input. An improved career path would have direct clinical benefit."

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