Ideas, Debates, and More: Meeting of European and Asian Higher Education Researchers Series

Non-academic Funders and Successful Exit from Academia: A good Way to Be a Post-doc

Speaker: Dr Giulio MARINI University College London

Chair: Dr Hugo HORTA The University of Hong Kong

Date: Mar 31, 2022 (Thursday)

Time: 16:30 – 17:45 (Hong Kong time by zoom)

Registration: Click here


In high-income countries in recent years, the non-academic labour market destination of PhD-holders, i.e., the segmentation by industry sector of destination, has emerged as an issue. Universities and other research-intensive institutions can no longer absorb the major share of PhD-holders. Their employment has become a matter of segmentation both horizontally in terms of the economy and vertically in terms of income. The article reports on outcomes from analysis that tested what factors segment labour market outcomes in two dimensions: (1) the economic sector and (2) income. Findings suggest that scientific mobility and type of funding during PhD studies do not play a notable role. Instead, some types of experiences such as a postdoctoral research position, predict exit from academic employment and also a higher income overall. The most significant experiences that contribute to segmentation are in fact projects funded by private companies or international organisations in postdoctoral periods. Implications for policy making are relevant for both PhD-holders, universities and external organisations. For instance, maximising collaborations between non-academic employers and universities is likely to produce beneficial outcomes for PhD-holders.