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Not Immune

In return correspondence addressed to Canada's Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq posted at The Black Hole blog, Jonathan Thon highlights what he says is a terrible outlook for jobs for early-career scientists. Thon says that "while the Canadian Institutes of Health Research is taking positive steps to meet its stated goals of attracting and retaining the best researchers, the Canadian government is failing to acknowledge how truly bleak the job prospects for young scientists are in the life sciences."

He points to recommendations from two recent reports from the US National Academies and the National Institutes of Health's Advisory Committee to the Director's Biomedical Workforce Working Group as key to improving the situation for young life scientists in Canada. Notably, Thon points to the suggestion that, in order to "improve career opportunities and limit the overproduction of transient trainees, labs should replace many of their post-doctoral fellow slots with permanent staff scientist positions." He also highligts the Biomedical Workforce Working Group's suggestion that postdoctoral pay and benefits ought to be improved.