Unless you’ve been living under a tasteful arrangement of rocks that have been artfully placed next to the latest brand new building erected by your University, you might have heard about the problems of precarity for post-graduate/early career researchers. The journey from completing a PhD to getting a permanent post in academia is extremely tough right now: there are not enough positions to go around, and there are way too many that take either don’t pay enough or expect labour that is above and beyond what a normal human being should be able to cope with.
I’d like to see my University (and in turn, others too) take a look at what they can offer for early career researchers in terms of support and resources once they complete their PhDs. My idea is that the University offers a type of post-doctoral program specifically for researchers who have recently attained their PhDs with them. There are post-doc positions available in various places, but they are highly competitive and too few in numbers. I’m talking about having something that is far more general and open to any discipline, but allows further library/resource access, University affiliation and email accounts. There could be other benefits to this too, so that is why I am looking for further input.
What I’m looking for is the space and resources to be able to turn my thesis into a book, and I’m assuming that I’m not the only one who needs that. I’m going to chat with as many of my PGR colleagues in the history department as I can so that we can collectively come up with an idea of what we would like to see our University provide. All PGRs at our University belong to the Doctoral College, and so we have access to a wide range of support from them in terms of our professional development. Once we have a set of ideas in place, we can bring some proposals to them and see what steps we can take.
I’m sure I’ve seen on social media that there are one or two other Universities that have something like this in place. If you know of such programs, I’d really like to hear from you!