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PhDs and Careers in Astronomy

PPARC has responded to the RAS report, which drew attention to the problems facing doctoral students

In particular PPARC

-  would value comments on  the four year studentships to be introduced in 2006 
-  agreed that continued efforts are needed by academics and sponsors of PhDs to impress on those embarking on PhD study that a PhD provides an excellent training for employment in many areas and that a career in academia will be a realistic option for only a small number
- were surprised at the negative views reported by students about the compulsory, transferable skills training components of  PhD course
-  areed that  the careers in astronomy comments on the ‘two body problem’, the implications of the Bologna declaration on UK Universities  and the longer term impact of the 2002 fixed term employment directive on researcher careers were challenging issues which would require continued collaborative effort from funding agencies, universities and professional bodies

The full reply can be read here