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Knocking on Academia's Doors: An Inquiry into the Early Careers of Doctors in Life Sciences


  • S. Robin

    () (IRES (Institute for Social Economic Research), UCL (Catholic University of Louvain), Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

  • E. Cahuzac

    () (INRA (National Institute for Agricultural Research), ESR (Rural Economics and Sociology), Toulouse, France)


The early careers of French doctors in life sciences are characterized by the importance of temporary jobs. While most young Ph.D. researchers wish to obtain a job in the French academic sector (which grants them, among other things, lifetime employment), few of them manage to achieve this objective immediately after completing their Ph.D. A majority of young doctors have to wait for a period of time before they find stable employment in the academic sector. In the meantime, they usually find temporary research jobs. Two main types of short-term jobs can be distinguished: fixed-term research contracts (in most cases in a French public laboratory) and post-doctoral positions (temporary research jobs in a foreign country). The aim of this paper is to determine whether these different types of temporary jobs have different consequences on the careers of Ph.D. researchers. Copyright Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini and Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.

Suggested Citation

  • S. Robin & E. Cahuzac, 2003. "Knocking on Academia's Doors: An Inquiry into the Early Careers of Doctors in Life Sciences," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 17(1), pages 1-23, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:17:y:2003:i:1:p:1-23

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    Cited by:

    1. Lee, Hsing-fen & Miozzo, Marcela & Laredo, Philippe, 2010. "Career patterns and competences of PhDs in science and engineering in the knowledge economy: The case of graduates from a UK research-based university," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 869-881, September.
    2. Eric S. Lin & Shih-Yung Chiu, 2016. "Does Holding a Postdoctoral Position Bring Benefits for Advancing to Academia?," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 57(3), pages 335-362, May.
    3. Natalia Mishagina, 2007. "Empirical Analysis of Career Transitions of Sciences and Engineering Doctorates in the US," Working Papers 1137, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    4. Isabelle Recotillet, 2004. "Earnings of young doctorates in private jobs after participation to post-doctoral programs," Working Papers halshs-00086000, HAL.
    5. Gaughan, Monica & Robin, Stephane, 2004. "National science training policy and early scientific careers in France and the United States," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 569-581, May.
    6. Hsing-fen Lee & Marcela Miozzo, 2015. "How does working on university–industry collaborative projects affect science and engineering doctorates’ careers? Evidence from a UK research-based university," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 293-317, April.
    7. Juan Francisco Canal Domínguez & César Rodríguez Gutiérrez, 2016. "Doctoral training and labour market needs. Evidence in Spain," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 79-93.

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