And critically, as the COSEPUP report points out, postdocs have come to provide inexpensive skilled labor, compared with the alternatives of graduate students (who have less knowledge and experience and for whom tuition must be paid) and laboratory technicians or faculty members (who are more often permanent employees with full benefits).
The COSEPUP report raises our awareness of the problems, but it only begins to acknowledge the complexity and intractability of the situation.
Many but not all of the COSEPUP recommendations would require additional money for the support of postdocs.
COSEPUP developed a series of actions that should be pursued by all of the individuals and institutions involved in the postdoctoral experience:
COSEPUP hopes that this new guide will help to maintain the vigor, excitement, and leadership of the U.
Maxine Singer, the president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, is chair of COSEPUP.
The COSEPUP report recommends that "a continuing goal of graduate education is the preparation of students who will dedicate themselves to careers in research.
The COSEPUP report correctly notes that instead of primarily meeting the needs of the students (or the nation), research assistantships are geared toward "the needs of the funded projects.
This idea is not new, and the COSEPUP report also makes some suggestions along this line.
made several specific recommendations to achieve this goal.
Since the release of the COSEPUP report, we have received stimulating but uneven feedback from policymakers, scientists, and the press.
The purpose of the COSEPUP proposal is not to alter the agents who make funding decisions but the criteria by which decisions are made.