Permanent position April 24, 2012Posted by mareserinitatis in education, research, science.
Tags: academia, funding, science funding, soft money
The other day, I was talking with a professor who was asking about my employment situation. After clarifying where I was at, he said, “But your husband has a permanent position, right?”
“Permanent insofar as he’s on soft money, too.”
One thing that’s become fairly obvious is that there has been a bit of confusion about our research center. A lot of people don’t realize we run entirely on soft money, which is a very uncomfortable situation to be in. It’s even more uncomfortable when both members of a couple are in that situation.
I recently read this article about the money trail in academia, and it got me thinking: what would happen if PIs were in the same situation as some of the rest of us. That is, what if they not only had no tenure, but also had to bring in their own salary? (I say this is the realization that, in some places, this is the case.)
I have a lot of thoughts on what may happen, but I’m going to put them in a separate post. In fact, by the time this post has been published, I will already have my post written so as to be untainted by potential comments. In the meantime, however, I’m curious what you think. Do you think this sort of system would help or hurt academia? Encourage or discourage competition, quality, efficiency? Do you think this would motivate the system to change or would it just be more of the same?