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'Honorary,' Indeed

The University of Birmingham has withdrawn its advertisement for an "honorary" — unpaid — research assistant position after critics voiced concern that such cost-free assistance was exploitative, reports Paul Jump at Times Higher Education.

"The position, advertised last week on jobs.ac.uk, required applicants to commit to working at least two days a week on a 'voluntary basis' on a new clinical study of mental illness," Jump reports. In a statement, Birmingham said that "although the honorary research assistantships were conceived as training positions, the university recognizes that this was not clear and has, consequently, withdrawn the advertisement," THE adds.

Speaking with THE, University of Roehampton’s Rebecca Boden suggested that "a better way for universities to recruit cost-free assistance would be to recruit PhD students and to waive their fees."

The Scan

Boosters Chasing Variants

The New York Times reports that an FDA advisory panel is to weigh updated booster vaccines for COVID-19.

Not Yet

The World Health Organization says monkeypox is not yet a global emergency, the Washington Post reports.

More Proposed for Federal Research

Science reports that US House of Representatives panels are seeking to increase federal research funding.

PLOS Papers on Breast Cancer Metastasis, Left-Sided Cardiac Defects, SARS-CoV-2 Monitoring

In PLOS this week: link between breast cancer metastasis and CLIC4, sequencing analysis of left-sided cardiac defects, and more.