Hard time for italian researchers in the Life Science sector

The Research Institute on the Population and Social Policies (IRPPS) of the Italian Research Council (CNR) has developed a study taking part to 'Rescar' (Researcher’s Careers) a more wide European project, about the career of Life Sciences researchers.

The 'Life Sciencies' is a key sector for the economic growth and to enhance the development of the industrial sector. The statistical sample of this research has focused on the more expert and talented researchers, with greater scientific and technological productivity (researches and european patents). This research has been conducted by Irpps-Cnr researcher Sveva Avveduto, with the other researchers Maria Carolina Brandi and Manuela Bussola.

The Life Sciencies sector comprises many different biologic disciplines, well represented in the agricultural scientific field by the Italian Life Sciences Federation (FISV ); they are: the Italian Agricultural Genetics Society (SIGA), the (->)Italian Agricultural Chemistry Society (SICA), the (->)Italian Phytopathological Society (SIPaV) and the (->)Italian Society of Plant Physiology (SIFV).

According to this study the most of the targetted researchers is working in universities (71,9%) or in public research institutes (19,9%) and only 1,4% in the industrial sector. They are 40-49 aged and frequently they have experienced a research-work in foreign laboratories (54,7%), coming back, finally, to their country. Mostly italian researchers are men (73,6%).

Taking a glance to the researchers's career we can note that about 1/3 of men and 1/4 of women remained unemployed no more than five years after their degree; 18,5% of the men and 16,9% of the women achieved a stable job within one year after their degree. The most of young researcher (under 39) meet a lot of difficulties in finding a research job and 22% of them don't get a stable occupation so that 42% of under 39 y.o. researchers is looking for a job in a foreign country.

Besides, women are disadvantaged compared to men and wait more to get their job; particularly highlights Sveva Avveduto 'although more aged people get more charges in research management, men spend more of their work-time in these activities than women: this is probably an other signal expressing women are given less important work-positions than men'. Overall the researchers who took part to this survey adfirmed they are satisfied about their works, but not the same they told about their salaries.

Source: Italian Research Council (CNR), Rome

Author: , Oct 31, 2008

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