Welcome to Hortensii

This site is produced by and for people who want to do something about the problems facing PhDs who do not find permanent academic jobs. We advocate better treatment for those who remain in academia, more help for those who want to leave academia, and more information on the risks of doing a PhD for students who have not yet embarked on one. Because for every PhD who ends up in a permanent academic job, there are FOUR who do not: 80% of people who complete a PhD now end up either outside academia or in temporary academic jobs, and many in the latter category are dreadfully unhappy.

Here you can find information on concrete steps that those of us who do have secure positions in academia can take to help with the problem: https://hortensii.wordpress.com/4-how-the-employed-can-help/. You can find information for prospective PhD students (https://hortensii.wordpress.com/5-for-prospective-phd-students/) and links to resources for PhDs who want to find a non-academic job (https://hortensii.wordpress.com/for-phds-who-need-a-non-academic-job/). We have also posted the full results of the study on which our recommendations are based (https://hortensii.wordpress.com/full-report/) as well as a summary of those results (https://hortensii.wordpress.com/what-to-do-and-why/). And if you are surprised by that figure of 80%, you can find out how it was calculated: https://hortensii.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/some-hard-numbers/ or, for someone else’s figures that arrive at the same conclusion, http://www.economist.com/node/17723223. For our claim that 33,000 PhDs in the US are on food stamps, see http://chronicle.com/article/From-Graduate-School-to/131795/.

We know that everyone’s circumstances are different, and no-one is in a position to take more than a few of the necessary steps towards solving this problem. But if everyone does just the few things that they easily can do, it will make a huge difference to reducing the real suffering that is going on around us every day. If we give up in despair at the magnitude of the problem, we can’t fix it: but if we make an effort, we can. So please, whoever you are, try to do just one or two things towards improving the situation. Thank you!

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