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State of Unease

While academic researchers largely enjoy what they do, they are often "uneasy about their future," a survey conducted by Nature says. Indeed, about 67 percent of male respondents and 63 percent of female respondents said they were very satisfied or satisfied with their job. However, not everything is rosy. One respondent wrote in that "the shortfall in grant funding and the decline in state revenues both mean substantially more work writing grants that have a lower chance of funding."

And the global economic outlook is also taking its toll. "I do not think the recession dramatically impacts me as a postdoc currently," another respondent writes. "But the recession does add to my anxiety about finding a faculty position in an increasingly competitive job market with no clear indication that funding will increase in the near future."