PhD jobs crisis

July 23, 1999

Rebecca Stott's article on the lack of proper training or careers advice for English literature postgraduates ("No jobs for the boys ... or girls," THES, July 16) struck a chord.

For the past three years I have been funded partly by the Arts and Humanities Research Board and partly by my university. Jointly they have invested about Pounds 23,000 in my training. And what will they get in return? Probably nothing. I am finding it almost impossible to get an academic job despite excellent references and a promising portfolio of publications.

In my naivety, I thought that if the university and the AHRB were so keen to fund me for three years, then they must have considered an academic career a realistic outcome. If I had known that the market was oversupplied and my age (43) would be an additional hurdle to finding a job, I might not have wasted their money.

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