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February 01, 2011

The underused academic

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Great article Paul - good job finding and linking these bits together.

That being said, I'm not convinced that funding Canadians to go away instead of international postdoctoral fellows to come to Canada is the way to go for a number of possible reasons:

1. Just because positions are available internationally now doesn't mean they always will be and reducing available Canadian research positions will be accompanied by a reduction in research output.

2. Postdoctoral fellows aren't just training units that need to be taken care of, they bring in extensive networks and will retain close relationships with their Canadian supervisors in future positions. This seems to be one of the main ways that new interactions with leading international labs are established.

3. (I don't actually think this is the case, but it is a formal possibility) ... It may actually be the intention of funding bodies to bring in top talent at a junior stage with full knowledge that they will likely not stay - this way, the research would still get done and there would be less of a need to find permanent academic jobs for them.

Just some thoughts... again - great article.

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