Researchers hoping to start their own labs face long odds. A dramatic rise in the number of PhDs awarded each year has significantly reduced the chances of landing a permanent academic contract (see ‘Long odds’). Data are sparse, but in the United States, for example, the number of available faculty biomedical positions has fallen since 1980, whereas the number of people who have graduated with a PhD has increased by 60% (N. Ghaffarzadegan et al. Syst. Res. Behav. Sci. 23, 402–405; 2015).
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