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Professor Wendy Hall calls for step change in attitudes to researchers

Published: 10 October 2007

Speaking on behalf of the Council for Science and Technology, Professor Wendy Hall of ECS has called for a 'step change' in the way that early career researchers are seen by employers and funding bodies.

Commenting on proposals just published by the Council for Science and Technology (CST)on how to make research a more attractive career option, Professor Wendy Hall said that a clear career structure was needed for researchers, and they should be given more independence at an early stage in their career.

Professor Hall has been a member of the CST since 2004. She was Head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science from 2002 to 2007 and is currently Senior Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

In the news release issued on 9 October 2007 by the DIUS, Professor Hall is quoted as saying:

“The UK’s science base is one of the best in the world and it will be crucial to maintain it for the continuing success of the economy. Research funders and the higher education sector must work together to provide a clear career structure, and give researchers greater independence at the early stages in their careers.

“This is not just about maintaining an excellent research base in the universities. The majority of PhD students and postdoctoral researchers will leave academia and go on to make as great a contribution in business, education, the media or public services. We must make sure they have skills that are required, and that these are duly recognised.

“We are very encouraged that the Research Councils and Universities UK are now leading revision of the Concordat on behalf of the sector to support the career development of researchers, and taking this issue seriously. This is an excellent opportunity for a step change in the way that early career researchers are seen by their employers and funding bodies. CST’s report sets out some proposals that could be adopted as part of this initiative.”

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