Thursday, May 8, 2008

A sad situation for NIH-funded labs

During the current administration, federal funding has decreased severely. I saw it first hand as a graduate student in an NIH-funded lab. Many of my papers are still sitting there waiting for final experiments before being peer-reviewed for publication. My lab could no longer afford me or the reagents in my final year there. We even had to give up two lab and three office spaces due to a lack of funds, moving into a much smaller area than we thought we could manage. There was some hope, as I made my exit, that the post-docs could cross the t's and dot the i's once money came back, but my last contact with them (last month - 16 months after my departure) was that nothing has been done with the write-ups of my 4+ years of blood, sweat, and tears.

The Scientist has a story of another researcher who fared much worse. Losing your lab describes something very sad that is occurring far too often nowadays.

I, like many other scientists, ended up with an alternative career in the sciences instead of a research position because the career ladder was cut off at the third rung.

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