As our readers know, we ran a panel discussion last month in Toronto at the 5th Annual Canadian Science Policy Conference. It was a packed room and the panel featured heated exchanges at some points (even between panellists!). Many diverse opinions were shared, pointing to a clear need for academic-training reform.
Chris Corkery began by representing the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars and their recent survey findings from ~20% of Canadian postdoctoral scholars. This launched the panel discussion by showing that early career researchers in the postdoctoral stage were a growing cohort of young bright minds in their mid-30s who aspired to becoming career researchers, but found themselves in a temporary holding zone when it came to career options.
A major policy issue for Canadian universities, governments and industry is how to avoid wasting such talented individuals that represent a major national investment. We set up three perspectives to engage this issue: Rob Annan from Mitacs delivered a talk on Mitacs’ suite of programs to facilitate the transition of trainees into industrial placements, Mawana Pongo spoke of the need for governments to invest in young trainees and the creation of 2,000 fellow positions and 1,000 professor positions, and Ben Neel spoke about the view from research-focused academic institutes and “tough love” for trainees
Dr. Neel’s was perhaps the most provocative presentation, arguing that graduate students and postdoctoral fellows needed to be given a “tough love” message more often than they appeared to be receiving currently. He argued that trainees needed to become masters of their own destiny and that things “aren’t that different” to when he trained (despite admitting that the numbers of scientists being trained has far outstripped new faculty positions). Dr. Neel made some solid arguments – PhD students and postdoctoral fellows have never been particularly well compensated for their educational standing and academic jobs have never been what the majority of people end up doing, and that the real disaster is the reduction in science funding.
Where does this leave us in the policy world? Three main questions need answers:
- Should there be multiple career streams for publicly funded researchers?
- Should the time to complete a PhD be reduced? (And if so, how can this be achieved?)
- Should PhD researchers be treated like medical residents and junior accountants despite unclear career outcomes?
After our panel, CSPC President Mehrdad Hariri asked if we would consider continuing the conversation through CSPC. If this takes place, we’ll certainly let readers know. In the interim, start the conversation below and we’ll collate the responses in our next quarterly summary. As I’ve said many times before, there is little obvious incentive for anyone else to fix academic training, so it’s up to researchers to fix their own system.
In my previous blog post, I highlighted the fact that despite their academic laurels, publically funded research institutes are no less aware of their bottom line and profit margins, and no less risk-averse, than private businesses. The problem is that while research departments are run like corporations, few principal investigators see themselves as small business owners. The result is a clear lack of push-back from academic faculty against institutional policies that ultimately take advantage of the basic research lab.
This is particularly evident within medical departments in the United States, where principal research scientists are expected to bring in 100% of their own salary and laboratory support, generally through a combination of federal/private grants and industry sponsorship. Infrastructure support (rent, administration, animal facilities, gas, power… etc.) is subtracted from this income and the remainder is used to support wages, accompanying fringe benefits (e.g., healthcare, dental coverage), equipment, reagents, and conference travel.
While departments will, on some occasions, provide a “start-up package” on hire, these front-end investments are generally designed to expedite laboratory setup and are usually recovered from the indirect costs over the following five years. Nevertheless, academic faculty remain university/hospital “employees” and capital raised by the principal investigator is funneled directly to the institution, which then sets up a laboratory account and sundry fund from which it pays investigator salaries and related expenses.
Academic faculty have limited input regarding institutionally determined indirect costs, salary caps and, in the case of larger institutions such as the Partners-affiliated hospitals in Boston, purchasing decisions – which are dictated by preferred vendor contracts. Although employment contracts are meant to provide job security in exchange for surrendering administrative freedom, principal investigators are still required to pay themselves, insofar as salary is determined entirely on capital raised by the investigator from outside sources, and benefits packages are tied directly to incoming grants.
Universities and hospitals continue to trend toward fewer tenured faculty (awarded lifetime employment of accomplished senior faculty) and more research scientist positions (short-term contract employment) that remove the burden of salary support from the institution entirely. As universities and hospitals distance themselves from assuming the financial burden of supporting to a major extent their basic research programs, it is important that principal investigators be reclassified as what they are: independent contractors.
Without question, principal investigators in academic settings presently occupy an independent profession in which they offer their services to the general public. Under the Internal Revenue Service’s definition of “independent contractors” in the U.S., the “payer” has the right to control only the result of the work, and not what will be done or how it will be done. Indeed, it is unclear that the research institution can even be defined as the payer, in the common case that the lab is sustained almost entirely on external grants and the supported projects are selected by the funding agency.
What matters, according to the IRS’s litmus test of what distinguishes an employee from an independent contractor, is that the employer has the legal right to control the details of how the services are performed – which, in a basic research practice at an academic institution is almost certainly not the case. By comparison, the principal investigator in an academic lab has absolute control of how research is performed by students, technicians and post-doctoral fellows in his/her lab. These researchers, while also commonly funded through the principal investigator’s operating grants, are appropriately regarded as employees of the principal investigator. Canada Revenue Agency definitions of independent contractors in Canada are similar, and this argument can be extended just as easily to Canadian institutions moving away from salary-supported faculty positions.
There are, of course, major disadvantages to re-classifying principal investigators as independent contractors – tax exemptions and health insurance being chief amongst them. Nevertheless, it behooves us to rethink how research scientists are currently employed and funded at universities to more accurately reflect the role academic institutions are meant to play in society and better align academic department’s administrative structure with their underlying mission.
This Thursday, I’ll be attending the Canadian Science Policy Conference in Toronto to run a session on the training the next generation of scientists. The session promises to be discussion-based and I hope that some practical ideas and solutions will be proposed by audience members and panelists to help address what I consider to be one of the greatest wastes of human capital in our country.
The results of the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS) survey will launch the panel highlighting the real need for new policy solutions to address the ever-increasing numbers of science-based trainees being spun out of Canadian universities and research institutes. This human resource crisis stimulated the formation of CAPS and numerous other international groups of early career researchers (e.g., the NPA in the United States, and ICoRSA for international research staff). The panel brings together stakeholders in industry, government and academia to discuss the needs of each sector and strategies for Canada to adopt in order to come out ahead in its training and utilization of young scientists.
I’ve compiled a list of relevant posts by Jonathan and I that try to tackle some of these issues and propose solutions and I hope this will act as fodder for conference-goers to get the discussion rolling. Post-conference I’ll relay to readers who could not attend the key ideas that emerged with the intention of building consensus on the best ideas that granting agencies, universities and employers could adopt:
- Sick of studenthood, early career researchers want employee status
- Half of Canada’s early career researchers are not Canadian
- Attracting and retaining talented researchers
- Reversing the brain drain
- Too much Talent? SSHRC’s “solution” to the postdoc boom
- The PhD Placement Project
- Incredible promotion tool: student and postdoc outcomes
- Tri-Councils should learn from EMBO fellowships
- Postdoctoral mentors and a regular reality check
- Shorter PhDs and more active thesis committees
- Fewer postdocs with higher salaries? Hold your horses!
- Planning Ahead: How many of you are there and who will pay you?
- A paradigm shift in academic advancement
- Creating scientists, not science, is the key to productive universities
Science training will not magically fix itself – it’s up to young scientists to identify the challenges and help to address them. The most important product of a university is people and these people will go out into every sector of society to help improve our collective future.
- I’ll also partake in a panel on the value of science blogging in Canada on Friday. Hopefully this session will highlight the utility and meaningfulness of scientists picking up the proverbial pen and paper to get their thoughts and opinions out into the world.
Last week, the International Consortium of Research Staff Associations (ICoRSA) was launched in connection with the VITAE Research Staff Conference. Forged in the fire that burns in the bellies of early career researchers with low salaries, little stability and poor career prospects, this organization aims to better the researcher profession by linking the individual (often national) organizations to each other.
ICoRSA has been busy in its first year of activity – they have successfully engaged postdoctoral and researcher organizations from across the world (including the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars) and their current board members reflect a good mix of these organizations. It will be interesting to compare the situation of researchers and research across the world, something that is desperately needed in the policy world.
One of the main advantages that ICoRSA has is its international breadth. Who better to assess the relative state of research than the researchers themselves who have spent numerous years in multiple different countries? As a community we have the unfortunate tendency to determine what the problems are without actually collecting and comparing the data. Indeed, much of what we speak about on our website is often drawn from single reports in single fields or single institutions with only a handful of reports appropriately contextualized. This results in decision making that is based on incomplete information and can result in major policy changes (e.g., the Banting scholarships in Canada) that impact the entire research community.
To highlight this, I look inside my own field and the tacit assumption in stem cell research that a permissive vs. restrictive national policy on stem cells is a major factor in researcher relocation (e.g., researchers would choose to work in locations that allowed them to do human embryonic stem cell research). When stem cell researchers were actually asked why they chose to relocate by a UBC research group (preliminary findings were reported at this year’s Till and McCulloch meeting in Banff), hardly any researchers listed regulatory environment as a major factor in moving. Rather, it seems researchers are moving for career, supervisor, research environment, etc.
ICoRSA therefore, could grow into a research hub for all of the data being collected in different countries. This sort of resource would allow governments and universities to adapt their research funding and administrative policies to the actual data across multiple countries. It would also inform researchers debating an international relocation about the new research system they would be entering. Indeed, very little is done to facilitate the transition to a new country.
Hopefully this will be a major priority of the ICoRSA group in their first years of existence – only engagement and data collection will lead the way for sound evidence based policy recommendations.
In the United States most universities and hospitals are private businesses, and are run as such, maximizing profit margins and generally promoting low-risk ventures with greatest return on investment. Basic research by comparison is high-risk and generally takes 10 to 20 years to show a financial return on investment (if there is a financial return at all). Not surprisingly, basic research projects are thus often left to the federal government to fund – and why not? The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 permits universities and hospitals to pursue ownership of any invention made using federal funding in preference to the government doing the same.
In Canada, universities and hospitals are both heavily subsidized by the government; nevertheless, there is no legislation in Canada governing the management of intellectual property (IP) rights resulting from publicly subsidized research. Each organization is required to develop its own rules: while some (CNRC, CRIQ) have chosen to retain ownership and grant licenses, others (CIHR, NSERC, FRSQ) do not retain ownership, transferring it instead to the university or research center producing the invention. Although ownership of IP resulting from federally funded research is not as clearly defined in Canada as it is in the U.S., policy decisions are generally structured on the American system.
Under this model, researchers and employees generally assign their rights to their employer who, in turn, assigns those rights to a technology transfer organization. As a result, when it comes to investment decisions on basic research programs, Canadian universities and hospitals are no less run like their American counterparts, and their expected aversion to unnecessary risk encourages subsidization of basic research almost entirely by outside sources.
So why does this matter? While traditional basic research departments such as biochemistry or engineering that subsidize faculty salaries and laboratory support from tuition fees – and rightfully so, as these faculty dedicate a significant quantity of their time (usually 20%) to teaching – PhD faculty in medical departments such as hematology or oncology are expected to support themselves entirely from research grants. This is not entirely unjust, as teaching loads in these departments are virtually non-existent. While MD and MD/PhD faculty make up the difference by assuming clinical roles, generally comprising 25% of their time, this option is not available to PhDs and salary/lab support must ultimately come from somewhere.
One solution is to reclassify principal investigators at academic institutions as “independent contractors,” freeing them to better negotiate their terms of employment and creating more competition in the academic market as a result. The alternative is to transform research departments into centralized self-sustaining profitable ventures by privatizing academic research, emphasizing translational discoveries in government directed areas of need… but how? My following posts will deal with both.
One of the most popular topics on our site over the years has been the taxation and administrative status of postdoctoral fellows. The budgetary changes and the resultant discrepancy between postdoctoral and graduate student take-home pay galvanized Canadian postdoctoral fellows across the country and was a primary driver of the enthusiasm that formed the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS). Five years on and a lot of settled dust later, it appears that post-PhD researchers want to be treated like grown-ups.
The original 2009 CAPS survey was completed when it was potentially beneficial (depending on your university, province and tax forms) to be classified as a trainee rather than an employee. The newest survey was completed after Budget 2010 when it became obvious that postdoctoral fellowships would be fully taxable. The result – over 75% of postdoctoral fellows would prefer to be classified as employees, with 70% of those currently classed as trainees or students preferring to have employee status.
How will Canada’s universities, funding bodies and research institutes respond to this preference?
One interesting wrinkle will be the handling of external fellowships. Contributing to pension and employment insurance is not free and if all postdoctoral fellows were to be employees, somebody would need to pick up the tab (would granting agencies allot monies for such contributions? Would universities be responsible, or would it come off the stipend of the fellowship itself?). Perhaps postdoctoral fellowships themselves would be viewed as training awards that exist outside of a standard employee/employer relationship. This is what happened to me as an externally funded fellow in the U.K. – no pension, no employment insurance, etc. Now I’m paid from my supervisor’s grant and am an employee at the university.
Overall I would note that, for the most part, the U.K. and Europe administer post-PhD researchers as employees. In my limited experience, much less venom is spouted concerning salaries and compensation. Things are still bad when it comes to career prospects and stability, but it seems that most early career researchers have access to a decent salary and benefits. The story is much more mixed in the United States, with some centres offering incredibly lucrative packages and others offering virtually nothing.
It is worth reminding people that the current federal government already categorizes postdoctoral fellows as employees: “Unlike post-secondary students enrolled in courses and pursuing a degree or diploma, post-doctoral fellows can be compared to a number of other professionals such as lawyers, medical residents, and accountants, where there is a period of paid training at the beginning of their careers (Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance in a letter to CAPS). (N.B. the comparison doesn’t stack up well when remuneration/benefits are considered.)
So, my advice to universities, granting agencies, and research institutes – listen to everyone else. As said in the CAPS survey, “In short, postdocs are adults: in the middle of their lives, but at the beginning of their careers.” These people are professional scientists and deserve to be treated as such.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be breaking down the fantastic information found in the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars 2013 Survey of Canadian Postdocs. To start this, I thought I would focus on the most surprising finding in my mind: 53.1% of the 1,830 respondents were either landed immigrants or holding a work permit. This is an incredibly high fraction that represents a huge opportunity for Canada, but only if policies and programs are designed to maximize the influx of such talent.
Plenty of non-American talent
Many of Canada’s postdoctoral fellows travel abroad and many find themselves in the United States, but the converse is not as frequent as many people think. Indeed, just 8% of international postdocs are from the U.S. whereas both France (13%) and China (12%) supply higher numbers of international researchers to the Canadian workforce.
When asked why they moved to Canada for research, facilities and resources were chief amongst reasons, showing that Canada has clearly created an excellent research environment. However, without the correct numbers and types of jobs available following this temporary period of research, it is not surprising that many leave the country. Funnily enough, the major challenge cited by international postdocs is not something remarkably academic or specialized, but rather “transitioning to life in a new country” and “visa/permit issues”- surely Canada can do a better job of making its talented young people feel more welcome.
You may ask why Canada should invest in these young researchers when they will all run away back to their home country? Again, the CAPS survey sheds light on this issue, showing that only 25% of researchers on work permits and just 3% of immigrant researchers have definite plans to leave Canada. There is a huge opportunity to capture this bright class of motivated young people to drive economic benefit for Canada, but we again do very little to support this permanent relocation.
Where does this leave Canadian researchers?
Jonathan just posted last week about attracting and retaining talented researchers, pointing out both the importance of international experience and the need, in Canada especially, to create jobs for researchers. Those jobs do not have to be academic jobs, but they do have to make the case for staying in – or coming back to – Canada for long-term employment.
As a Canadian-funded postdoctoral fellow working outside the country, I have lamented the lack of connectivity between Canadian funding bodies and institutions. My PhD and postdoctoral training cost CIHR $210,000 in salary alone and they have done virtually nothing to encourage my return. Indeed, funding agencies, institutions and companies do very little to attract its early career scientists back to Canada (both Jonathan and I can attest to this) both for academic and non-academic jobs. I think that two main problems exist: 1) lack of networks 2) poor programming for its fellows.
When one is looking for a non-academic post (industry, science writing, consulting, law, etc.), you are much more likely to do this locally. In my own case, a move to industry in one of the Cambridge biotech science parks would be much easier than trying to figure out the lay of the land in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver. This is mostly because I regularly meet and interact with scientists who are employed with these companies and are collaborating with academics at our university.
EMBO, and countries like the UK and Australia, have come up with ideas on how to do this. EMBO created a “Fellows Network” that meets regularly and interacts with academics and non-academics; the U.K. encourages international applicants to its independent funding programs (Career development awards) and Australia ties the latter portion of grant funding to a fellow’s “return to Australia.” As far as I can see, Canada lags in this area and desperately needs to rethink its policies if attracting Canadians to return to work in Canada is a goal.
Overall, Canada needs to support both cohorts of talented researchers in order to capture the best and brightest minds to drive critical and inventive thinking that forms the baseline for discovery and innovation. Creating programs to bring back internationally trained researchers and encouraging Canadian trained international researchers to put down roots are not trivial tasks especially when the people making these decisions are (as described in the CAPS survey) adults “in the middle of their lives, but at the beginning of their careers.”
“Doctorate recipients begin careers in large and small organizations, teach in universities, and start new businesses. Doctoral education develops human resources that are critical to a nation’s progress—scientists, engineers, researchers, and scholars who create and share new knowledge and new ways of thinking that lead, directly and indirectly, to innovative products, services, and works of art. In doing so, they contribute to a nation’s economic growth, cultural development, and rising standard of living.” – National Science Foundation (2011)
The best way to attract and retain talented researchers in Canada is to offer them jobs. While Canadian postsecondary education is recognized worldwide for its excellence, Canada produces significantly more PhDs than it can gainfully employ (The research bottleneck, flying blind; Playing the devil’s advocate on low salaries). Declining academic positions (universities presently employ 87% of Canadian PhDs), limited pathways for advancement as decision makers in government (the second major employer of Canadian PhDs, 9%), and a limited high technology sector which presently employs only 4% of PhDs as compared to the 42% hired by industry in the United States (In Canada you can get a PhD, but maybe not a job) suggests that retention of PhD researchers following their postdoctoral fellowships is where Canada is falling short. Emphasis should be placed in funding faculty appointments for Canadian investigators first, and attracting top-tier international researchers second.
Managing a research lab is no different than running a small business (a subject I’ll be addressing in an upcoming post). In order to create opportunities for scientists at the interface between academia and industry, the federal government should invest in industry co-sponsored tier 1 and tier 2 research chairs tenable for at least 5-7 years, such as are offered through the Canada Research Chairs program, and support this program by expanding infrastructure support provided by the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
In exchange for accepting a co-sponsored independent research position at a major academic institution, new faculty will receive a cross-appointment in the sponsoring company, be required to consult on in-house research and development pipelines, and will be expected to pursue one or more translational (bench-to-market) research projects for which the sponsoring industry partner will receive first-rights to patent and the academic institution and federal government will be permitted to claim a proportional (albeit smaller) share.
Renewal, while dependent on publication record and academic success, will include evidence of market value in a subset of research programs. Priority will be given to Canadian citizens for both tier 1 (established researcher) and tier 2 (emerging researcher) chairs, however tier 1 chair appointments should provide sufficient flexibility to be used as a recruitment tool to attract world leaders in their fields. International experience for candidates applying to both tier 1 and tier 2 research chairs should be encouraged since it helps bring to Canada expertise from internationally-recognized research labs abroad.
Tier 2 research grants should not require prior faculty appointment to be eligible for nomination. A major limitation of federal funding programs for young investigators in Canada is the requirement of an existing faculty appointment. This clause constitutes a chicken and egg argument whereby Canadian universities are presently reticent to hire new faculty due to lack of guaranteed funding, and young researchers cannot apply for independent funding without first securing a faculty appointment.
Allowing postdoctoral fellows to apply for independent funding ahead of securing their first faculty appointment will allow the federal government to attract the best and brightest Canadian scientists and direct scientific innovation in Canada by selecting which research programs will be supported. In the case of industry-co-sponsored research chairs, this will stress research plans that exhibit potential for bench-to-market translation. If successful, this program should be expanded to include private industries beyond traditional economic powerhouses such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics to include the social sciences and humanities as well.
Last week was the culmination of an incredible amount of volunteer labour through the CAPS-ACSP group who produced their 2013 Survey of Canadian Postdoctoral Scholars. Done in collaboration with Mitacs, a not-for-profit group aimed at facilitating the transition from academia to industry, the survey emphasizes the need for urgent action at universities and research institutes in order for Canada to remain competitive on the world stage.
Many articles have been written already about the survey, including great pieces from University Affairs’ Leo Charbonneau and Beryl Lieff Benderly at Science, highlighting administrative ambiguity, poor remuneration and benefits, and low access to career development training.
Over the coming months, we will be using this survey data to take a more in-depth look at some of the key issues and to compare the situation of early career researchers in Canada to other countries – we hope you will enjoy this series and our proposed solutions. As part of a panel at this year’s Canadian Science Policy Conference, I have organized a panel discussion that will feature a presentation of this survey data alongside comments from leading researchers, non-profits and government members. It is entitled Training the Next Generation of Scientists and should produce some excellent discussion on this topic and these new data.
Guest Post: Dr. Eddy Kent
- Funding repercussions of U.S. debt showdown – 2013 edition
- Reversing the brain drain
- An open letter to Stephen Harper on the status of science funding in Canada
- The PhD Placement Project
- Measuring the non-academic impact of your science
- Impact factor ‘eligibility window’ skews the system
- Open access is “a journey not an event”
- Incredible promotion tool: student and postdoc outcomes
Dave continued to write for the Signals blog with:
Our guest blogger, Dr. Eddy Kent attracted some stories of frustration with SSHRC’s new policy on fellowships. The article on student and postdoc outcomes made the rounds on reddit with a long list of comments around whether or not such statistics would provide a valuable resource for prospective trainees.
It’s an incredibly busy autumn, but as always I encourage people to consider writing on the issues they feel most passionately about, the Black Hole is a forum for discussion and the proposal of solutions to the problems in training early career researchers. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are keen.
In light of the present circumstances, I thought I would interrupt my ongoing series on federal funding of basic research in Canada and take the opportunity this week to update you on the current status of science funding in the United States amid another looming fiscal showdown. The 2014 fiscal year in the U.S. begins Oct. 1 and requires Congress to pass a spending bill to allow federal agencies to remain open. Later this month, on Oct. 17, Congress will be required to pass another bill increasing the American government’s $16.7-trillion debt ceiling to avoid default.
By now I expect we are all familiar with the consequences of inaction on both milestones and I won’t belabor the point here (For past discussion please see “Cause and effect in scientific funding,” and “What happens when you insufficiently fund basic research“). Instead I want to comment on the fallout as it affects NIH funding in the U.S. It is difficult to predict whether agreement will be reached to avert a government shutdown and funding lapse before Oct. 1 and the NIH has provided some guidance with respect to the expected fallout.
While spending may continue on active grants and contracts funded for fiscal year 2013 or prior following a shutdown, principal investigators are recommended to limit spending to what was set forth in the fiscal year 2013 grant year budget. Additionally, during any shutdown period, PIs may not make budgetary or other changes that require prior approval as there will be little or no agency staff available to provide such approvals. Expenditures made without the requisite prior approval during the shutdown period are at risk, and may not be reimbursed once the government reopens.
At the moment of this writing, there is no definitive information on whether reimbursement will be possible for fiscal year 2014 award spending that occurs before the shutdown is resolved. However, my institution has recommended that if we receive a stop-work order from a federal sponsor that we cease working on the project and work with our research management office to implement the government’s directive. You can imagine how disruptive this will be to time-sensitive research studies, particularly if they are at the forefront of scientific discovery and therefore in direct competition with other equally aggressive research programs worldwide. Thankfully, some clinical trials may qualify for “excepted” categories where work and financial support can continue in absence of an appropriation because of statutory requirements, safety, or national security. NIH intramural clinical trials appear to fall into this category.
Another complicating issue that may be of relevance to Canadians is the status of collaborators working under subcontract with American institutions. My understanding is that American hospitals and research institutes are generally under no obligation to provide FY-2014 funding during a lapse in federal appropriation, although subcontractors may continue to spend FY-2013 funds. Amendments extending subcontracts based on anticipated fiscal year 2014 funding will likely not be processed until after the shutdown has been resolved and the appropriate renewal notice of grant award has been received from the agency. For Canadian post-docs on NIH grants commencing fiscal year 2014, this could mean returning home as J1 and H1B visas are dependent on employment status.
Lastly, while the Grants.gov system will be operating during a funding lapse and will accept and store NIH grant applications, these applications will not be processed until funding has been approved and normal business operations are restored.
Any government shut-down will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications on the American economy and influence markets worldwide; the research community will be waiting with bated breath to see how this year’s American financial crisis plays out.
In the meantime, I will be continuing with my article series in my next post.